Wednesday, September 8, 2010
I love to travel, but I never look forward to the plane ride. I'm not afraid. Well, to be more precise, I'm not afraid of flying. I'm afraid I will get motion sickness and make a fool of myself in front of whatever poor soul decided to take the empty seat beside me.
It wasn't always that way, but in recent years I begin to get a funny feeling in my stomach the minute I set foot in the airport terminal. I suppose it's all in my head, since my feet haven't actually left the ground yet, but I definitely feel it in my stomach. I have never actually gotten sick on a plane, but there have been times I wanted to kneel down and kiss the ground when we landed.
The flight to Salt Lake City wasn't bad. Once we got above the clouds it was smooth sailing, and I actually ate the "sumptuous" snack the nice flight attendant brought to me and had a diet coke. That didn't mean I wasn't counting the seconds until we could land, but I was doing fairly well.
It always seems to be a bit rocky when the plane descends through the clouds (and they look so fluffy and innocent!), and this time was no exception. Still doing okay. The flight attendants announced they would be coming around to make a final sweep through for any items we needed to throw away. Almost there. We could see Utah below us - clear and beautiful.
The pilot's voice shattered the illusion of a peaceful landing. He encouraged us to put our seat belts on and informed us that the flight attendants would not be making a final sweep after all. He wanted them in their seats, belts fastened.
Unseen currents began to bounce the plane around like a little toy. One of the flight attendants cheerfully reminded us that there were "sick bags" in the seats in front of us (just in case, you understand). I closed my eyes, prayed and hung on for dear life. After what seemed like an eternity, we bounced our way down onto the runway and landed safely.
In those moments when I was fighting to keep that silly snack in my stomach, I thought about how much this reminded me of life in general. We go along quite happily knowing full well there will be occasional bumps in the road - just as there are bumps when the plane slides down through the clouds. It's those unexpected currents that really throw us for a loop. Everything seems to be going so well when out of nowhere we are hit with the unexpected. It could be anything from a financial loss to the death of a loved one; an accident or the loss of a job.
When it comes, whatever it is, it sends us reeling and just holding on for dear life. On the plane, I had to follow the pilot's instructions and trust that He was in control and would get us safely down to earth. So it is in my life. I have the Father's word - filled with instructions for getting through the difficult times and promises of His faithfulness. Promises that never fail. My part is to be obedient and to trust.
It seems so simple, and yet I often find that my first reaction is to be anything but obedient and trusting. I want out; I want answers; I want it to be all better - now please. In reality, I am as helpless to do anything about my circumstances as I would have been trying to land that plane. It would have been beyond foolish to even try when there was someone so capable in control.
Ah yes, we have a Father who is more than capable of handling anything that comes into our lives. After all, nothing comes to us that does not first pass through His hands - hands that lovingly draw us to Himself. He will not only take care of us in the storm, He will bring us safely through to a place of greater blessing.
"Do not fear for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand."