"But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the lion's mouth. The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen."
2 Timothy 4:17-18 (NIV)
Our pastor shared a story in his message to the congregation yesterday that was profound. Before Pastor Sam started, I specifically asked for the Lord to speak directly to my heart. I was in desperate need to hear from Him on a specific matter. Although I know it isn't true, it was as if Pastor Sam had constructed his message just for me. One thing after another came out of his mouth straight from the Lord to my bewildered soul. That has happened in the past, but it has been a long time since I felt that each word I was hearing had been just for my ears. The result was that I felt comforted and heard by my God who spoke so powerfully through my pastor.
Toward the end of his sermon, Pastor Sam shared the following story:
A gentleman was flying on an airplane when the plane ran into some turbulence. At first, no one was too alarmed, thinking that the rough patch would soon be past. However, the plane continued to be rocked and swayed by the powerful currents all around it. As the man looked around at the other passengers, he could see the fear rising in the eyes of those closest to him. The plane continued to dip and roll with the unstable environment it was flying in.
All of a sudden, this man's eyes fell on a young girl who seemed to be all alone with no adult near her. He watched her as she sat reading her book during the frightening journey. She would look down at her book and then raise her head and close her eyes. After a few moments, she would look back down at the book again. She repeated this pattern throughout the turbulence. What struck the man observing her was the little girl's calm demeanor while those much older than she were visibly shaken.
The plane landed safely on the tarmac some time later. The passengers were grateful to be on solid ground again. The gentleman decided to let everyone else in the plane disembark as he stayed behind to talk to the young girl. He smiled as he approached her, still sitting calmly in her seat.
"I have a question," he said to her.
"I was wondering how you were able to stay so calm during the turbulence we went through in the air when so many adults were afraid."
The little girl looked up at the man and said simply,
"My daddy is the pilot of this airplane. He told me he was taking me home."
I could not stop the tears from forming in my eyes. Yes, yes, yes! my broken heart whispered as Pastor Sam finished. How easily I forget! My Abba is the pilot. He has the power to make all things work together for my good. He is going to see me home, safe and sound, even though life's circumstances are turbulent and frightening. He is navigating me through it all. I need to just rest, be still, and bask in the comfort of that truth. Although the powers of hell itself would threaten to shake me, I AM SAFE BECAUSE OF WHOSE I AM! I just need to be a little girl again as I put my faith and trust in my God today.
Jesus, I too easily forget that You are the Master of the wind when I concentrate on the turbulence of my world! I don't need to shake and shudder at what is happening around me. You are my faithful Pilot. And unlike a human being, You cannot lose me. You know exactly where I am and have ordained my very circumstances for Your glory. Help me not to be afraid of what I cannot understand. Instead may I be afraid of not remembering Who is in control.