Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Unexpected



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."
Isaiah 41:10

Blessings,
Linda

11 comments:

  1. Linda, you should talk with my wife. She would agree with you and plane rides and airports. On second thought, maybe you shouldn't talk with my wife. Good post.

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  2. Such a great analogy and reminder to trust ...

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  3. Good for you for going on this flight even though you don't like the feeling you get in your stomach...it's because of those feelings that I won't fly! lol I've got vertigo and I get so much anxiety at the thought of flying that I don't even want to attempt it. Sad I know. Your story is certainly a wonderful analogy, you always find the "good" in any story:-) xoxo

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  4. Linda, this was such a blessing. I've been on a turbulent plane ride (and I'm prone to motion sickness), and I've had turbulent life-rides, too.
    I love that verse and cling to it often.
    Monica

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  5. Love your comparison.
    My first plane ride ever...was crazy bumpy. I just thought that was normal until someone said they had never been on a flight that bad (o:

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  6. Linda, when I was pregnant with my second son, I had to fly on the same day that I officially started morning sickness. I had to pull over on the way to work to take care of things in the ditch, so I knew we were in trouble. When the craziest turbulence I've ever experienced hit on the plane ride later that day, I made use of those handy gift bags in the seat pocket for the first time ever.

    The plane landed eventually.

    Sometimes, we even know the bumpy air is coming and it still rocks us. But "surely He will help us." Wonderful post, Linda.

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  7. Yep, we've hit the turbulence once again, and I love your analogy - we had a wonderful week0end with our favorite preacher ever, and he spoke directly to our hearts.

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  8. Oh I have been there! Staring down that convenient little bag in the seat pocket in front of me, daring my stomach to betray me. You've told the story so well, here. Glad you landed safely. Except for the turbulence, isn't the descent into Salt Lake City gorgeous?

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  9. What a wonderful illustration! I saw some beautiful hand stitched quilts over the Labor Day weekend in CO. 1 was being raffled off as a fund raiser. I thought of you and the pics of the beautiful quilts you post.

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  10. how is it that you see Him in everything? i long to be this way... thank you...

    and thinking of you, and hoping you are well, and loving you from so far away...

    (thank you for praying for savannah. you're right. prayer works. she is doing much better. :))

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