I recently heard a story of a man who was on a plane returning home from a business trip in another country. It was a long flight, so he decided to lean back, close his eyes, and get some rest. About an hour into the flight, he awoke with a jolt just as the pilot came on the PA system to inform passengers that they were experiencing turbulence and that all should remain calm and seated with their seatbelts fastened. The plane however kept shaking violently, causing the oxygen masks to fall and luggage in the storage compartment to dislodge.
As the man looked around anxiously, he realized that many people were crying and others were praying, but what surprised him was this little girl sitting by herself across the aisle from him who was seated calmly with her hands in her lap, seemingly undisturbed by the chaos around her. Eventually the turbulence ended, and the plane landed safely. As they were preparing to disembark, the man turned to the girl and asked her why she was never afraid when everyone else was terrified around her during turbulence. The girl simply replied, “My father is the pilot!”
My thoughts on the story
1. God does not change. As I reflect on this story, the first thing that stood out for me was how quickly things can change. One moment, we can be good and enjoying our lives and in the next moment chaos and turmoil can reign around us, as fear and worry rule within. Many of us experienced change in one way or another, after Covid-19 emerged in China and quickly spread across the world like wildfire, leaving in its wake confusion, loss and death. It changed the way we travel, socialize, work and even the way we dress daily.
Worldwide, mental health suffered a blow as people grappled with fear, anxiety and depression, due to issues relating to the pandemic such as loss of jobs, inability to purchase food and pay bills, inability to be around friends and loved ones, as well as the fear of catching the virus itself.
Covid-19 reminded us how unpredictable life can be and how suddenly things can change. It is however comforting to know that although situations can change for the worse, our God never changes. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.” (Hebrews chapter 13 verse 8) This should give us confidence because although our circumstances and people may change, and our relationships, careers and health may fail, our God will remain the same. He is dependable! let us cling to Him and “hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.” (Hebrews chapter 10 verse 23)
2. Know the man. The little girl was confident that although around her was disorder and confusion, all will be well in the end. Her conviction came from knowing exactly who the pilot was and that he was trustworthy. This knowledge must have come from her relationship and experiences with him. Likewise, we build our confidence in God as we grow in knowledge of who He is through His Word and our experiences with Him, as we depend on Him to pilot us safely through life’s many turbulences.
Our relationship with our Heavenly Father should be an active and ongoing process as He transforms us into the image of His Son. The route He will take to get us there will not always be pleasant, but those experiences will teach us more about the nature of God and build our trust in Him. When we know God for ourselves, we can be content in all circumstances, because despite what we are going through, we know that our lives are safe in His hands and He will use it for His glory and for our good.
“Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians chapter 1 verse 6)
3. Never alone. The man thought that the little girl was alone, and one can only imagine how traumatic such an experience could be for a child, but all along her father was there. In life, we all go through periods of pain, stress, confusion and anxiety and in those moments, we can believe that God is not with us. Thankfully, I have learned over the years that how I feel is not always the reality. “Be sure of this, God is with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew chapter 28 verse 20).
Hard times will have us questioning God’s presence in our lives, but even in those times, He is there. When the Israelites left Egypt, God’s presence was with them and guided them in a pillar of cloud by day and fire by night. We may not have those signs today, but we do have the Holy Spirit dwelling within us, guiding us, and interceding for us before our Loving Father. We are never alone.
Whatever lies ahead on our paths, we have a Pilot who can weather any storm and bring us safely to our destination. Trust Him, He has experience, and He is dependable!
“Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.” (Deuteronomy chapter 31 verse 8 NLT)
Rose-Ann Durant is a young Christian from Kingston, Jamaica, who is currently living in the island of Barbados. She is an ardent reader who enjoys going to the beach, river and spending time outdoors.