I hate flying. Actually, is there a word stronger than hate? If there is… I “that word” flying.
As much as I hate flying, last week I had no choice. A couple of my coworkers and I had to be in two different cities in one day. Driving would have meant 10+ hours of car time in less than 24 hours, so we took the company jet. Now before you start thinking I am some kind of rockstar, I promise taking a private plane is not nearly as glamorous as you may think (especially when that plane is taking you unglamorous places like Iowa and Kansas!)
The morning we had to fly, a storm blew in. The closer we got to the airport, the worse the rain became. By the time I walked into the private airport, my anxiety had gotten the best of me. Everything within me was shaken. I couldn’t get on that plane. It was so dark I couldn’t even see the plane. There was no way I would be safe.
I was wrong. The plane did take off (with me on it) about 30 minutes later than scheduled. The pilot warned us it would be pretty bumpy when we started out, but it would get better.
The take off and landing where bumpy, but we made it safely. Right on time for our meeting.
After our meeting, we got back on the plane and flew to our second destination. The landing was a little rough. The back of the plane (where I was sitting of course) felt like it was literally fishtailing in the wind. I felt as if one big gust of wind would make the entire plane barrel roll. There were several moments where I felt like the plane was nearly out of control and we were seconds from death.
I was wrong again. The plane was never even close to being out of control. We made it to our destination safely a second time.
That evening, while having dinner with my coworkers, we talked about the flights. One of my coworkers said that he would choose the private plane any day because he knew the entire crew well. He trusted the crew would never take the plane up if it wasn’t safe. The pilots were educated, skilled and in control. Even in potentially scary situations, the pilots have never been surprised and have never crashed the plane. It may be bumpy but the pilots always get the passengers where they need to be safely.
As my coworker talked, I was reminded again, fear is a liar.
I can’t help but think how much that flight was a little like life. How many times have I been in the middle of a hard or scary time when I quickly forget that I have a skilled powerful God in control of the situation?
There is a story in Matthew 8. Jesus and the disciples get on a boat. While on the boat, a storm comes and anxiety rises in the disciples. They run to Jesus and scream, “save us or we will drown”. But look what Jesus says in verse 26:
Jesus answered, “Why are you afraid? You don’t have enough faith.” Then Jesus got up and gave a command to the wind and the waves, and it became completely calm.
Every time I read Jesus words “Why are you afraid? You don’t have enough faith.” my heart skips. How many times do I let fear sneak in and make life scarier than it has to be?
Right after saying, “You don’t have enough faith” Jesus got up and gave one command to the wind and the waves and the storm stopped.
What would happen if when fear started to sneak in I choose faith instead? What if I called out to Jesus first, instead of letting the storm rage out of control around me?
Just because I choose to trust the pilot will get me to my destination safely when I fly, doesn’t guarantee that the flight will be without turbulence. The same is true about my trust in God. Just because I choose to trust Him, doesn’t mean life will be without it’s bumps. I think the pilot on my first flight said something very true that can be applied to faith… it may be bumpy, but it will get better. I can believe this because I trust the God who controls the winds and the waves.