I hate turbulence. Turbulence during a plane flight is the root of my flying anxiety. I’ve gotten past sitting next to strangers and flying by myself, but I still haven’t gotten used to turbulence. There’s something about bouncing up and down at 30,000-ish feet in the air that’s unsettling for me. Most of the time it doesn’t last very long, and I’ve always landed safely on the ground, but in those brief moments, my heart starts to race and my mind runs through every possible worst-case scenario until the bumpiness passes.
The more I’ve thought about my flying anxiety, the more I’ve been able to relate it to other aspects of my life. As I live from day to day, it’s not always smooth sailing. Sometimes new obstacles or turbulent bumps mess with my daily routine, and I have to figure out how to navigate my way to calmer, clearer skies. The moment turbulent winds disrupt the smoothness of the flight, and my stomach drops while I white-knuckle grip my armrests, the only thing on my mind is “Lord, keep me safe. Lord, get me through this. Lord, You are in control.”
Why is it so easy for me to completely trust God while I’m flying, but when I hit some turbulence in other parts of my life, I seem to completely forget He’s there?
I pray before, during, and after each flight, asking God to guide the pilots and keep me safe, and I thank Him when I do land safely. Why don’t I do this every day? I should thank God in the morning for another day of life, ask Him to be with me throughout my day, and thank Him at night for the safety and blessings He provided me with, and pray for another good day when I wake up the following morning.
When I find my mind wandering to worst-case scenarios, I immediately give them to God to remind myself that His will is perfect, and I need to trust that He’ll take care of me. I should give every little bit of turbulence in my life to Him right when it happens instead of trying to figure it out as I anxiously sit through it until it passes.
2 Kings 4:1-7 depicts the story of the widow who had only a little jar of oil. She was afraid her sons would be taken from her because she had nothing to pay off her debts with. She went to Elisha, pleading for help, and he instructed her to borrow empty jars from all of her neighbors. He then told her to pour the little bit of oil into the jars until every jar was full. When she finally filled the last jar, her original jar of oil stopped flowing. Elisha instructed her to use the oil to pay off her debts, and then she and her sons would live off of what was left.
This woman had no idea how she was going to live or how she was going to support her family. Elisha’s instructions made no sense. How could she fill all of the jars of oil when she barely had any to begin with? Her faith was put to the test, and she had to trust in the power of God completely to make it through this turbulence. Even in the midst of the most difficult time, her faith did not fail her, and God did not fail to take care of her. I hope I can one day have the kind of faith this God-fearing woman had.
God has the power to take me through every turbulent moment in my life. I just have to trust in Him completely and willingly let Him take me through the turbulence to clearer skies.
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.