Encountering Turbulence

Posted by Susan On July 11, 2018 ADD COMMENTS

To travel is to encounter turbulence at some point. It just is. Usually, the movement isn’t enough to fret over, but when I think of “turbulence,” I immediately think of two particular times of travel when the plane hit massive bumps and knocks. Once– flying into Boise, Idaho– I literally thought the plane was going to flip over. When we landed, the airport was shut down thereafter, and bystanders in the airport commented incredulously, “I can’t believe they let you land in that storm!!”

Another time was when we flew a red-eye to Sarasota, Florida after my husband’s father had passed away. Most of the trip from Seattle was so bumpy we couldn’t possibly sleep, all night long!

Believe me, I dislike turbulence as much as anybody, and for years whenever I’d fly, I’d gripped the armrest of my seat with white knuckles while I did my fair share of praying, “Oh Lord, please make it stop!!”  

I fly quite a bit, however, and lately, I’ve noticed that my prayer has changed somewhere along the way in my frequent flying experiences. I don’t know how and I don’t know why it happened, but these days, when the plane starts shaking with the inevitable bumps and rocking, I find myself instinctively praying not that the turbulence would stop, but that God would change my attitude about it and give me His peace through it. I’m the one that has to change.

Turbulence is a normal part of traveling that isn’t going to go away. The only thing that really matters is how we deal with it.

In exactly the same way, this week I was praying for some friends and the turbulence they are currently experiencing in their lives, and it surprised even me when I began by praying not that God would take away their adversity, but that He would reveal Himself to them as the strength, comfort, patience, encouragement, wisdom, and peace that they needed to get through their turbulent time. 

Bumpy rides are part of life. If we’ve learned anything from the life of Joseph, it’s that adversity is often part of the fabric of our story, and it’s certainly what drives us toward faith that’s firmly anchored in Christ Jesus. He’s the Shelter in our times of storm. If our desire is that His glory would be shown in our lives, then adversity is a key element in how it’s all worked out. 

Why is it that we instinctively pray for God to change our circumstances, instead of praying for Him to change us? It’s far too easy to look “out there,” instead of “in here.” Somehow, we fall into erroneously believing that if only our situation was different, if only our circumstances were better, then our faith would be stronger. But, of course, that isn’t the way it works. We’re the ones that need to change. 

Turbulence eventually comes to an end– both in a plane, as well as in our lives.  So, sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride! If anything has to change, let it be our attitudes. My younger sister once told me that when she arrives in heaven, she hopes it’ll be with her hair messy, glasses cocked, and her shirt-tail hanging out as she says with a huge grin, “Man! That ride was amazing!” Life is amazing– even with the turbulence. 


Powered by Facebook Comments

Leave a Reply

Spam protection by WP Captcha-Free