A handful of times this summer, I took this tiny little plane to travel home. By tiny I mean there are only enough seats for 8 passengers who are practically sharing the cockpit with the pilots.
I won’t pretend I played it cool and just let them do their jobs either. I was much too intrigued for that. Sitting right behind the pilots is too sweet of an opportunity. Instead I was leering at their gadgets, recording some of the flight and staring out the window at the clouds that engulfed us for most of the trip (see video below).
And it was while in the middle of one of these clouds I had an awesome realization. These pilots could see nothing in front of them. It was a total whiteout while we were in those clouds. But they had a system which was guiding them exactly where they needed to go, if only they would trust it.
This navigation system knew much more than they did, and was not concerned about keeping them on a path where they could clearly see their destination. It lead them through the middle of the clouds, blinding them, still knowing it was on the right course.
The parallels this has to Christianity are pretty obvious, but on one of these trips I was reminded of something a friend from church said at a gathering. She referenced the story from Matthew 8:23-27 when Jesus calms the storm the disciples find themselves in while traveling by boat. The point my friend made was this; often we hear about God’s will, and we seek to find that will at all costs. His will is that we would be with him, not straying from his side. We think the only way of knowing if we’re within his will or on the right path in life is if things are going smoothly. But in this story there’s something very important to note.
There was nothing smooth or reassuring about the disciples’ circumstance. They could not see a different ending other than the difficult one that surrounded them. They were in the middle of a storm that could cost them their lives. But while the waves crashed around them and the darkness of the storm consumed them, I believe they were still in the will of God, they were right where He wanted them to be. We know this because guess who was right there with them? God himself.
I’m not saying God wants us to suffer through the storms of life, I’m saying God wants to be by our side through it all.
Sometimes we have to endure circumstances that seem the only possible ending is pain, something that terrifies us because it blinds us. The uncertainty and fear blind us exactly the way the disciples on the boat felt in the darkness or maybe the way the pilots felt on the plane among the clouds.
But don’t you ever think for a second that the one with the plan for your life will get lost. If we could only trust that his power is far greater than our own and is guiding us exactly where we need to go.
Does he want to prevent you from pain and hurt? Of course. But my point is that for some reason he doesn’t always do this. TRUST him that he’s not doing it to cause you pain, he’s doing it because he’s guiding you somewhere that you can’t see at the moment. And you better believe he’ll be right beside you, walking through it all with you.