Last week I visited my daughter and her family who live in College Park, Maryland. It is about a seven hour drive from State Road, NC, so my chosen means of transportation is flying. The flight to Maryland went off without a hitch and went as smooth as silk. Staying a week, it was time to take flight back to North Carolina. Saturday afternoon, May 31, was a picturesque day. There were only wispy white clouds floating in a dazzling blue sky, the sun was shining brightly, and there was only a zephyr of a breeze to speak of. A smooth uneventful flight home was anticipated.
Boy was I wrong!
The plane headed for Charlotte was about three-quarters full, so I grabbed a window seat so I could admire the beauty of earth from an altitude where birds can’t soar! The take off went smoothly and the plane ascended to about 27,000 feet. Then it happened. The plane began to rock back and forth like a sideways rocking chair. Then it felt like we were hitting speed bumps in a car that was going too fast. The only problem was you can’t slow down and pull over on the side of the road! Where I was sitting I could see the wings shimmy a bit. People were looking around at each other. Everyone on board was in unison in their thinking, “What is going on?”
The pilot’s reassuring voice came over the cabin speakers to inform everyone that the plane had encountered some wind turbulence and it was creating a choppy flight. I had another word for the flight and it was not “choppy.” The pilot said he was going to take the plane up higher, to 30,000 feet, which should solve the problem. While it did lessen the “choppy” flight, it didn’t stop it completely. It just felt like the speed bumps were a little smaller.
One is pretty helpless when you are 30,000 feet in the air and the plane is rocking back and forth. All one can do is the trust the pilot. As I sat there my fate was in the hands of a pilot I didn’t even know. I was never worried that the plane would not land safely in Charlotte. And sure enough, it did. I was thankful a skilled pilot was in the cockpit.
I got to thinking, when flying you must trust a pilot you don’t even know. Your life is in his hands. You trust he knows what he is doing. You trust he will get you through “choppy” occurrence that may be experienced during the flight. You trust he will get you to your destination.
If we can so easily trust a mortal pilot who we don’t even know, why do we find it so difficult to commit our lives and “the keeping of our souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator” (I Peter 4:19)? As our eternal Heavenly Pilot He knows all and sees all. When we experience “choppy” situations and circumstance in our lives He is there to see us through them. As the Captain of our salvation (Hebrews 2:9-10) He never leaves or forsakes us. He is our Pilot, our Guide, our Sustainer, our Strength, our Comforter, our Surety, our Mediator, our Redeemer, our Great I am, and the list of all that He is to us goes on and on.
I need not fear what turbulence I encounter in life, my Pilot is flying the plane. He has proven in my life over and over again that I can trust Him and commit myself to Him in full confidence. There are times in life He has to take us higher and draw us closer to Himself. As we soar high with Him He enables us to endure the “choppiness” of life with peace and an inward sense of His presence. As we daily trust Him there is no need to doubt we will not reach our intended destination and the unfolding of His best for our lives. And when the plane ride on this earth comes to the end of life’s runway, our soul will take flight in the arms of our Heavenly Pilot, carrying us beyond the gravity of this world to touch down in a Land where all turbulence will cease.
The only true and eternal refuge in life is to daily commit ourselves to our Heavenly Pilot. The words of an old hymn says it well: “Lead us, heavenly Father, lead us, O’er the world’s tempestuous seas Do you want a pilot, signal then to Jesus. Jesus Savior, pilot me.”