The sun is rising as I’m looking out my small plane window. The clouds, like perfect-looking cotton balls, blanket the cities below. I stare at the plane’s right wing – as it turns to navigate the passing clouds, and I hear, “I carry you.”
The Holy Spirit sends chills through my body, getting more prominent as I remember all that He’s carried me through.
In those moments when I’ve grown weary, He’s given me the most soundless rest, and when the nurse couldn’t find my vein when drawing blood, well … He gave me my heart’s desire after I fainted: Chick-Fil-A.
Turbulence shakes the plane’s frame, jogging my memory of chicken minis, but the wings don’t falter. I think of the moments that shook me. Crying out to God on my kitchen floor in my small overpriced apartment, asking for direction, clarity, and guidance.
Sitting in the doctor’s office, inhaling the smells of foam Germ-x and latex gloves, when they told my Grandpa that the cancer had returned. When the news covered the story of a man shooting innocent people from a Las Vegas hotel room – sons, daughters, cousins, parents, friends.
Plane rides aren’t glamorous, whether you’re in first-class or you’re like me and are in last-class, and they aren’t always smooth. There’s fussy kids, turbulence, drool sleepers, and vacuum-suctioned toilets; but, I’d argue that it’s one of the best viewpoints I’ve ever witnessed, and one of the best visual perspectives that I can think of.
On the plane, I see the keys of a relationship with Christ. Weird, I know, but let me explain.
- The flight attendant gives us safety instructions after we are boarded and buckled.
- The 2-minute spiel is definitely needed to ensure that we have the safest flight and to inform us on what to do if a tough situation arises. That foundation that the steward gives us from the beginning is kind of like the Bible. It’s our safety instructions, our “what do I do?!”, and the outline of our foundation to prepare us for our flight to Heaven. We can’t fly or live a Christian life without it – emphasis on can’t.
- That uncomfortable seat belt that adjusts to each person in the seat.
- I’ve learned that faith is never comfortable – but it’s what I cling to. Faith secures our hope, both in the person and in every situation, that Jesus has us right where He wants us on the unseen journey. And more importantly, that no matter what the future holds, that He does in fact hold us through all of it.
- The unfaltering wings.
- The Holy Spirit is the definition of unfaltering, no matter the wind against it. It follows the direction set in place by the pilot, and is the ever-present Guide that leads you. He holds a secure stance against doubt, especially for those individuals who say, “God can’t do that! That’s impossible.” The Holy Spirit answers, “Impossible is where God starts.”
- Oh, turbulence.
- Sometimes it tickles your tummy like you’re on a roller coaster, and other times it goes too far and you pull out the barf bag and lose your complimentary peanuts. That’s life on earth – the ups, downs, good moments and bad ones. It’s what you recall and discuss at family dinners, and the reason for photo albums. It’s memories that you cherish, and moments that make you wonder if the bumps will ever stop. It’s the turbulence that can make you strong in faith, or weak in fear. Just promise me that you won’t let it be the bumps that make you switch your seat for one on the exit row.
- Last, but really first in the lineup, is the fearless Pilot.
- I’ll cut to the chase – that’s no one, but Jesus Himself. He knows every detail of the plane model, each passenger, the amount of turbulence we will face, the direction we are going, and the exact time of arrival. He’s the One in ultimate control, and the One we give our life to. He’s the Creator of our journeys, and can see each direction long before we can. He’s the One that we question sometimes when there’s unexpected drops and turns, but the One we trust to have our best interests, dreams and desires at heart. Jesus is the One who gets us to the ultimate destination: Heaven.
The cotton ball clouds are now above me, and the puzzle pieces of land are coming into view. As we prepare for landing, the pilot comes through the intercom and gives us one last update: “Good morning, flyers. Please fasten your seat-belt and enjoy the ride.”