Have you ever been on an airplane?
I know there are a lot of people who haven't. Personally, I love flying. I get a little nervous when the plane takes off and then again when it lands, but while it's in the air, I adore it. My family used to fly to the midwest a lot when I was younger, but as my sister and I got into our teenage years, we started driving instead. I don't remember many of the flights we took as kids. Over the last few years I've taken some flights here and there, to Nebraska or Greece, but this year specifically, I've flown a lot. The flight path from Washington, DC to Hartford, CT is a short one, only about an hour, but I've learned something from these quick up & down flights, and that's what I want to share with you today.
In April, my fiancé and I flew home for my Nana's wedding and it was on a particularly cloudy day. You know the kind of day I'm talking about. The one where it seems the weather is just in this gross limbo... it's not pouring down buckets of rain, but it's far from bright and sunny. The sky is just a canopy of gray clouds, making everything here on earth seem gloomy and unexciting. These types of days always seem to get the better of me. No matter how hard I try to get up and be cheery and productive, I always find myself sleepy with 3 or 4 cups of coffee, not being able to wait to get home to sweatpants and Netflix. As I'm sure you can imagine, flying on these types of days is not the most ideal thing. Getting up early, going to the metro station and taking the yellow line all the way to Reagan International Airport during morning rush hour when people are nothing but annoyed that you have luggage with you is not the most ideal gloomy day activity. Once we arrive at the airport, check in our bags, make a starbucks stop, go through security, and arrive at our gate, I am utterly tired and just wanting to get back into the bed I so reluctantly got out of at a time that no one should ever have to see when they start their day. We board the plane and get in my window seat, hear the safety instructions and before you know it, up into the clouds we go.
This, my friends, is when my entire perspective changes. Once we break through the gloomy canopy of clouds and light rain that has been the view since my eyes slowly blinked open... what you can see from the plane is astounding. Blue skies, and abundant, bright sunshine surround the plane as it glides through the air ever so smoothly. You would never know that below the clouds that now seem white and fluffy is a rainy, gloomy, gray earth where people are starting to get out of bed (because it is a much more respectable hour) and dawning rain boots and umbrellas to guard themselves from the elements. Seeing these skies that were so beautiful and clear above the clouds gave me a whole new perspective on my day and gave me this surreal peace and assurance that God was in control.
That moment when we broke through the clouds and I got to see the beautiful sky above is something that I've been mulling over for nearly two months, and when I had a similar experience flying home this last weekend for my sister's college graduation, it clicked and I understood what God was trying to speak to me through this example in life.
Sometimes, our lives are cloudy and gray. Sometimes, things aren't going the way we planned, or a loved one passes away, or we lose a job, or we are just flat out going through something. These are the times that life just seems gray and downtrodden. Everyone has these times, and everyone has their own way of dealing with it. Friends, I want to use this example to encourage you today.
When you are going through one of these times, which, like me, you may be now, there are two things I want you to remember:
1. Trust in God
Can I be really honest? Trusting in God is tough. I pray that God continues to grow me in this area of my life, but to be completely transparent, this isn't something that comes easy to me. I know some people who have had extraordinary faith and trusting in God was easy, but I know plenty of people who struggle in this area.
To relate this back to flying, when you're on a plane waiting on the ground to taxi over to the runway. Who do you currently have all your trust in at that moment? The pilot. You're trusting that the pilot has everything under control and that he's going to get you over to the runway, off the ground, through the clouds, and eventually back to the ground safely. In the same way, God is kind of the pilot of our lives, and we have to trust that He is going to bring us through whatever our situation is safely. While we are on that upward climb in our lives, we MUST trust in God that He will carry us in His arms.
2. Blue Skies Await
No clouds, gray skies, or rain storm lasts forever. At the end of the day, the sky is still blue, even if you can't see it. Eventually, though it may take longer than you want, the clouds will break and the sun will shine and the sky will be clear and blue again. Much like this, no struggle will last forever. Eventually, whatever struggle you are going through will end, and you will have your breakthrough moment where your skies clear and you see the beautiful blue expanse of sky that was so marvelously created by the very God we need to put our trust in to get us there. Don't lose hope in your trials, because there is always something greater ahead.
Trust in God and don't stop looking for the blue skies. They're coming. Stay strong, my friends.