Sitting in Hartfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport waiting it out for my connection home, I began to have a “fire shut up in my bones” experience. I ran across this quote by Lysa TerKeurst that adequately punctuates the following thought….“God’s love for us is fiercely tender and He will go to great lengths to protect us, provide for us, and put us in positions that allow us to grow. We may not understand it. We may not like it. But we can rest in the absolute assurance of His love.”
It’s like this…..
Shortly after boarding my plane from Phoenix to Atlanta, the pilot informed us of possible turbulence and less than favorable weather over Atlanta. We were told to observe the seat belt signs, limit walking and so on. Just as predicted, there was quite a bit of shakin’ goin on. One movie later combined with more ride time, the pilot announced that we were 30 minutes from the Atlanta airport, signaling preparation for landing. It was nighttime. Typically, close to a major city, it is easy to see lights although it is night. However, from my window seat, I couldn’t see a thing. There was thick cloud coverage all around. I could clearly see the lights on the wing, but that’s about it. I thought, “How in the world can the pilot land this plane with such low visibility?” It was beyond me, of course, because I’m not a pilot. I haven’t been trained in the mechanics or operation of aircraft. I don’t have ANY idea how that whole process works. In fact, to be perfectly honest, I don’t have to because it’s not my responsibility. My responsibility is to simply trust the pilot to implement his expertise, sit back, and take the ride.
Proverbs tell us to trust with all of our hearts without leaning on our own understanding AND that God WILL direct our paths. Funny…..when the pilot announced that we would be landing soon, from the looks of it (outside my window), there was no evidence to back this up. There was no obvious indication that we were even close to civilization….no city lights or anything to “prove” that landing would actually take place. But, before I knew it, the lights of the landing strip suddenly came into view as the plane lowered itself closer and closer to the ground, finally landing and coming to a safe stop….as it was designed to…..just as the pilot had said….
How often do we question the pilot of our lives, Jesus Christ, who not only knows this journey and the aircraft, but He designed the trip. He knows what “turbulence” lays in wait for us and knows exactly how to navigate around it or through it…..as He so chooses. Sometimes, looking out the windows of our lives, we are tired, frightened, frustrated, angry, depressed, unmotivated, discouraged, and the list goes on, simply because the cloudiness of our situations and scenarios make us think that it is unlikely that we will either make it, recover, heal, be restored, begin again, smile, live….. But, somehow, the voice of the Pilot breaks through our foggy, distorted thought processes to remind and reassure us that we are close to landing. There may not be any proof-positive indications, but we can be sure that we are close to landing. We cannot see any familiar “lights,” but trust that we are close to landing. So, against our human logic and everything rational, we secure our seat belts for the hundredth time, sit back, and….. Just. Take. The. Ride.
Just. Take. The. Ride. Before you know it……your ride, your trip, your chaos, your trepidation, your cluelessness, your fears, your dismay, your brokenness, your issues, …..will be over…..you WILL land safely…..de-plane……reaching your destination…..not YOUR destination, but the destination that was designed for you before you were even thought of.
“Why would you ever complain, O Jacob, or, whine, Israel, saying, “God has lost track of me. He doesn’t care what happens to me”? Don’t you know anything? Haven’t you been listening? God doesn’t come and go. God lasts. He’s Creator of all you can see or imagine. He doesn’t get tired out, doesn’t pause to catch his breath. And he knows everything, inside and out. He energizes those who get tired, gives fresh strength to dropouts. For even young people tire and drop out, young folk in their prime stumble and fall. But those who wait upon God get fresh strength. They spread their wings and soar like eagles, They run and don’t get tired, they walk and don’t lag behind.” Isaiah 40:27-31 MSG
They that wait…..
Just. Take. The. Ride….
At an all-night New Year's Eve social, I twisted my ankle while playing a silly game. Ugh! I was forced to sit with my right leg elevated. As I watched my ankle increase in size, I knew that I would eventually be spending time in the emergency room on New Year's Day. After the doc at the ER examined my ankle, it was determined that I had, indeed, sprained it pretty good. My ankle was wrapped up, I was handed some crutches, and pain meds were prescribed. To my surprise, I received three prescriptions for pain. Upon asking why three instead of one, I was told that each med would address a different pocket of pain. I took their word for it and dutifully took the meds.
I recently conducted a little research and discovered that there are, in fact, differences in the roles of the three major pain medications that had been prescribed to me: acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and naproxen. I found out that naproxen and ibuprofen block the chemicals that are responsible for inflammation (swelling) and the pain that results while acetaminophen interrupts pain messages that those chemicals send to the brain. Blocked chemicals from inflammation help reduce swelling, which decreases occurrences of pain. Blocked pain receptors remove the feeling of pain. With my ankle injury, I suffered from pain and inflammation and now understood just how these three created a type of triangulation system that tackled and eliminated my ankle woes. However, as I took the meds, they helped me cope until my ankle was fully healed.
Like my ankle snafu, life sometimes creates inflammation that results in emotional pain. Specifically, there are places where we have been wounded that need healing. The pain can seem unbearable at times. However, just like the doc at the hospital made, not one, but three prescription pain meds available to help relieve my pain, God has some pain killers that you can take as you heal from your emotional injuries. His spiritual ibuprofen, naproxen, and acetaminaphen embedded in His powerful Word will block the lies of the enemy whose goal is to trip us up and keep us out of commission by increasing the swelling from the past, from negative experiences, or from trauma and dysfunction. Remember that God's truth trumps the enemy's lies any and every day. He is right beside us as we heal from life's hurts. He promises to never leave us or forsake us.
So, when you are experiencing those pain pockets, look to Jesus for just the right prescription for your pain!
You can call me Jenn. Let's sit on the front porch, grab a tall glass of sweet tea, and chat about life. I communicate through writing and I so enjoy the conversations that squeeze out of my thoughts and words. I especially look forward to hearing your responses to my thoughts and words that spark other conversations, peak interest, and inspire change.