Apr 11, 2008, 6:00 AM
For a very long time travelling by air had never posed a problem for me. It had always been smooth, plain sailing, until one day, the aircraft entered a pocket of turbulence and shook like a leaf. Yes, that big metal bird rumbled and tossed subjected to the influence of a violent thunderstorm. It was a terrible experience.
From then on my pleasure for flying evaporated. I have become very apprehensive each time I have to board a plane. And at the slightest rumble, bump or shaking, I could feel it in my stomach, fear would grip me. I have since survived several zones of turbulence without a scratch or adverse side effects. And have thanked the Lord profusely for the outcome.
Zones of turbulence similar to that experienced in the world of aviation, are not any different from that of everyday life. At best it is in fact a picture of the storms that trouble our lives. They suddenly come upon us after what has been a pretty calm, smooth and easy-going life. One day a storm from nowhere and without warning hits us and perturbs our lives completely, tossing us over and felling us like a tree. We recall how strong and vibrant we had been before we are terraced by this fact of life and fail to see the reality of it.
We begin to ask ourselves questions like 'Why me?' We begin to doubt God and His ability to come to our aid and protect us. Where is God in al this? we ask. Our self- confidence dissipates. What has happened to our volatile faith?
Nobody likes being tested or tried albeit by God. We want to live a trouble-free existence, exempt from all hardship and all pain from the beginning to the end. Lets get this clear, God never promised a storm-free life nor a bed of roses. What he guarantees is that He will never leave us nor forsake us. The Prophet Isaiah registers the point when he wrote: "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze." (Isaiah 43:2)
God will test us to help build our character, so that when we come out of the test we would have been refined like gold - ready for the next river to cross. Job and father Abraham were among several biblical characters that God tested and they proved themselves strong. Job passed the test edified, stronger, and more confident that God's purpose had been fulfilled in his life in spite of the discouraging remarks received from his spouse and friends. His perception of God became clearer, more focused and profound that he proclaimed: "I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted .. therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes." (Job 42:2,6) His possessions were restored to him in quantities that surpassed his previous status.
God had offered a unique child to Abraham in his old age and had subsequently asked him to offer the child as a sacrifice to Him. "Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about." (Genesis 22:2) What a dilemma! Give up his only son would tantamount to not having a heir. After all, the reason for his initial complaint to God had been: "You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir." (Genesis 15:3) Father Abraham came out of this trial to become the father of all nations on earth . (Genesis 22:18)
Trails are an integral part of our lives that we have to encounter one time or the other. They may descend upon us as a flood; they may come in drips. One thing that we must not fall into is losing the lesson God wants to teach us. Because the turbulences in life will make us and not mar us, we should not be afraid, rather we should be confident that it is the Lord's doing. It is a process we each have to go through to become better persons, spiritually equipped to d the Father's will.
Has your confidence been shaken lately? Adopt the David stance. He declared, "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff they comfort me." (Psalm 23:4)