It’s been a while since I have enjoyed the privileges of my private pilot license. It was always a dream of mine to learn to take to the skies in a Cessna all by myself or with a good friend. There is nothing quite like being in that other world up there in the air. To get off the planet for an hour or so and experience the power of controlling an airplane in the midst of an atmosphere that is totally out of my control is kind of cool in my opinion. For many of you, that idea probably has never run through your mind. I know, if God meant for us to fly he would have given us wings, right? Ha!
My greatest fear in the plane, other than engine failure or a midair collision, was summer time thunderstorms that came up really fast and could surround you very quickly. Even though they can usually be avoided by flying early or very late in the day, a storm can catch you off guard with nowhere to safely land in sight.
I wonder where you find yourself right now. Maybe you are flying along in a positive atmosphere or season of your life and that is wonderful. But as you keep waking up each day and the years pass, a big storm is just around the corner. Sorry to give you a spoiler alert to the story of your life. When it happens, you may be thinking and wondering, “Where is God?”
There is a great story found in the bible within the book of Luke in chapter 8 in verses 22-25 (NLT). The disciples who were his closest followers and friends encountered a scenario where the storms of life came their way:
22 One day Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.” So they got into a boat and started out. 23 As they sailed across, Jesus settled down for a nap. But soon a fierce storm came down on the lake. The boat was filling with water, and they were in real danger. 24 The disciples went and woke him up, shouting, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown! ”When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and the raging waves. Suddenly the storm stopped and all was calm. 25 Then he asked them, “Where is your faith?” The disciples were terrified and amazed. “Who is this man?” they asked each other. “When he gives a command, even the wind and waves obey him!”
Did you notice that in their journey with Jesus, he trusted them with their nautical talent and found a place to nap? In their normal course of daily living, a fierce storm quickly came upon these men, such that the boats buoyancy was being strongly challenged as water filled the vessel and also threatened their lives. Like us many times, the disciples felt as if Jesus was totally oblivious to their life threatening struggle and didn’t care. However, they did call out to him in 911 desperation for rescue.
As creator and sustainer of this world and universe, Jesus took absolute control over an uncontrollable human encounter with nature in full fury. However, after dismantling and disarming the storm, Jesus asked them, “Where is your faith?” It is completely human and normal to be alarmed, frightened, and highly stressed when our journey with Jesus takes us through the valley of the shadow of death. From our perception, we may wonder and even become angry at His seemingly lack of concern for our welfare. However, the ultimate call is to trust him by faith. It always is and always will be. We must trust Him when life doesn’t make any sense, when we can’t feel His presence, can’t hear His voice, or see Him at work.
Trust Him because He completely loves you. Trust Him because He is always with you in your boat of life. Trust Him when everything around you appears completely out of control. Trust Him when your foundations are crumbling and the waters of death are rising. Trust Him and you will see His power displayed right before your very eyes and you will reach your destination on the other side of the trial or challenging lake. If you do, you will be different. You will be transformed because you jumped in His arms, experienced His power, felt and witnessed His great love for you right in the midst of the storm.
The trials are real, but His power and promises are beyond comprehension. In Isaiah 40:30-31 we find these great words:
30 Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. 31 But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:30-31 (NLT)
By the way, some of the most beautiful skies to fly in are the ones that appear right after the storm. In Christ, you are licensed to fly! You are cleared for takeoff! What are you waiting for my friend? Hit the throttle and go vertical with God.