We awoke Monday morning eager to begin our journey back home. It had been a nice visit to see my mother-in-law who had just turned 80. As we took family pictures there were two places that were empty…a father and brother; but still it was good to be together. Now it was time to leave. We quickly packed our suitcases, ate a quick breakfast and were off for the hour ride to the airport.
Picking up my phone I could see some weather warnings. Did I dare to look? Grand Rapids was under a weather advisory and wind warning. Flying is not my favorite thing to do but with winds gusting to 50mph I was really not looking forward to the flights home.
Soon we were boarded and ready to de-ice and take off. As we sat waiting on the runway the plane was rocking back and forth. A few minutes later we were speeding down the runway until finally we were off the ground. Immediately the turbulence began. The plane groaned and creaked as the wind was pressing it from all sides. It almost seemed hard to imagine that these planes can take so much stress against their frame. Sitting towards the back we could see the plane tilting and bouncing.
And then it happened. As if it were a shot from a gun we suddenly burst through the cloud layer. Instantly there was the most beautiful blue sky one could ever imagine and all was calm…so calm it was hard to imagine that we were actually flying.
In that moment words can hardly express the thoughts that went through my head. What a picture of life. So often full of turbulence…winds blowing against us from every side shaking our very being. Sometimes it seems a wonder that our bodies and being can withstand another trial and yet we are upheld.
But if only we could look at the big picture. Our turbulence will only last a few short years and then those who know the Lord will suddenly burst as it were through the clouds and all will be calm….amazingly calm, forever.
My thoughts immediately went to a dear little boy from our former congregation. He struggled every day for the few short years of his life and that very morning he took his last breath. As I sat gazing out at that amazingly clear blue sky I couldn’t help but wonder what it must be for him at those moments. Looking down I could see the thick layer of clouds covering the earth, knowing that the turbulence was there below, knowing that in a few minutes we would be entering it once again but not dear little Jacob…his struggles were over forever. Though so difficult being away from this dear family during their time of mourning this lesson from our flight with turbulence brought much comfort.
It turned into a blessed flight filled with sweet communion. Lord grant that I may look above life’s many “turbulences” to see that one day there will be a great calm…never to have to experience turbulence again.