Somewhere in January 2015 I was settling into a window seat on a flight between Calgary and Toronto. Mid-morning in the middle of the fierce winter months in Canada, a snowstorm was raging. I checked my phone to see if the flight has been cancelled knowing that the Canadians get on with whatever, even when the weather thunders and nobody should even be outside.
Through security, I allow myself a petite Starbucks flat white, saved for extraordinary occasions like an airport and a white-out. I prepare to board as I take the call from my husband who dropped me off. He is home safe.
I have a long testimony about the fear of flying that invaded me very unexpectedly a few years before. Over the years I fought it with everything I knew about fear and came to rest in a comfortable routine of mind-pictures of angels caring for me and certain music in my ears. I was determined to be spiritually prepared for this flight in the storm.
As I closed my eyes to pray, I “heard” God speaking to me in my mind. It is undeniable when I am focused on hearing the Holy Spirit. I know the love-whisper of my heavenly Father, but I also know the stern voice of correction. “Enough”, He said. “Grow up. Nothing more of this almost superstitious little pictures and music!” I was so shocked by my own thoughts that my eyes flew open to check the reality of the plane around me. The plane was just moving back to prepare for take-off. I could see nothing of a painted line or road.
Parked on the strip for take-off, the de-icer came to work its magic on the wings. The man in the control seat of the de-icer caught my eye and smiled. He must have wondered what urgent business would make me fly in that weather. He didn’t know of the twin-girls born to my nephew the month before, for whom this great aunt will weather any storm, just to meet them and spend heavenly days celebrating new life in our family. Extremely urgent in my book.
In the meantime, I was still talking to God in my mind. I was certain that He expected me to sit back and relax without any panic-praying. The de-icers moved away and the pilot roared those jet-engines for take-off before any new ice can settle on the wings.
White, white clouds with no visibility, just full confidence in the control tower to declare the path with strong radar.
The next moment the plane is full of sun and the sky bright and blue. I squint in the sunshine…and tears of realization.
Oh, Lord my God… I see what I had to learn. I see the limits of my insight. The pilot knew. He knows the drill. He knows that he will break through the clouds and fly high above the storm. He relies on the control tower to take him through. I did not know. I had to learn.
How come I can succumb to anything life throws at me? I know the control tower of Wisdom and Power, who can navigate me through any storm, when the clouds are so dense and low that it is impossible to imagine blue skies and sunshine. It is blind trust, just like the pilot who knows the words from the tower and acts very boldly at breakneck speed on the assurance of the navigation. He has experience of many times before. He needs the speed for lift off. These days they tell me that planes can almost fly themselves.
Well, I want to switch on my auto-pilot against fear and despair. I am flying on the wings of the Word. The control tower says it:
But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31)
I just have to pick up speed. Revelation-knowledge is the jet-engine of our lives.
Thus says the Lord:
“Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom,
Let not the mighty man glory in his might,
Nor let the rich man glory in his riches;
But let him who glories glory in this,
That he understands and knows Me,
That I am the Lord, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth.
For in these I delight,” says the Lord. (Jeremiah 9:23,24)
Our wisdom, power and riches are in the Kingdom of God that determines the priorities of life.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. (Proverbs 9:10)
And when the Sabbath had come, He began to teach in the synagogue. And many hearing Him were astonished, saying, “Where did this Man get these things? And what wisdom is this which is given to Him, that such mighty works are performed by His hands! (Mark 6:2)
We know the Source of all wisdom and knowledge in the control tower of life.
Take off. Roar the engines of faith. God will speak to you. Hear his Voice. Listen and your soul shall live – in the storm. You can break through and fly high above the storm – in the Sun of Righteousness with healing in his wings. (Malachi 4:2)