Does turbulence play a role in your life? Brad reminds us that God is never far away – even in our most turbulent times.
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Turbulent Skies in Matthew’s Gospel
In Matthews gospel, the Pharisees and Sadducees were pressing Jesus to prove himself to them. He called them out, saying….O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?”
Jesus was making reference to the old saying, that was apparently common among them even in those times. Matt 3: 2-3 “When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red. And in the morning, It will be foul weather today: for the sky is red and lowering.”
I’m often reminded of that saying when I see a red evening sunset, or a sky that’s red and unsettled in the morning. The words bode still true today, to the point that even sailors in this modern age are mindful of this weather indicator in the skies above.
Unsettled skies, whether figurative or literal are not something we are fond of encountering. It seems it’s ever more frequent that the news is showing resulting destruction from the aftermath of horrific storms. We see residents grappling with the overwhelming damage from hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, mudslides etc. The warning signs are often in the skies, and meteorologists are certainly more equipped than ever before to provide alerts ahead of the storm, which does minimize the loss of property and human life. But sometimes, we neglect warning signs, sometimes we fail to see them, and sometimes storms arise suddenly, without warning.
I used to enjoy flying, but over the years I’ve grown to enjoy it less, to the point where I would rather take a train if it were possible to get to my destination in the same amount of time. My aversion to flying has nothing to do with packing restrictions or overbooked flights, security hassles, or long lineups, it’s simply an anxiety over “turbulence”. It brings me face to face with a real fear that I bring before the LORD each time I’m in flight.
If you look up the dictionary reference to the word turbulence it says: “a violent or unsteady movement of air or water, or of some other fluid.
“the plane shuddered as it entered some turbulence”
No wonder I’m not a fan. The word “violent” isn’t a nice word.
Turbulence on Vacation
We recently took a vacation, travelling by plane, and once again we encountered that dreaded turbulence. The skies upon departure were clear, and the weather at the airport we were to arrive at was ok, so that always gives some reassurance that one is not flying into a storm system. Of course, that’s not a guarantee that the ride will be a smooth one, but I am always more relaxed upon boarding when there are no significant storms on the horizon. The departure was fine, and the flight was smooth until about the 2nd hour in. We jostled about for 10-15 minutes before the pilot illuminated the “seatbelt light” and the flight attendant made the announcement to return to your seats, fasten your belts etc. That told me the turbulence was about to get worse, and for a lengthy period of time.
The turbulence lasted for about an hour, at varying degrees of upset.
It always seems worse during a night flight. There’s no point of land reference out the window, nothing to stare at down below in hopes of steadying one’s mind. The plane is dark, and there you are thrashing about in the air, travelling at several hundred kms an hour, 37000 feet above the earth. I try not to over-dramatize, but those are the realities. My wife doesn’t enjoy it either, but my daughter who was travelling with us wasn’t bothered by the unsteady air.
I always put on my bravest “dad/husband” face, but they know down deep I’m not at my most comfortable.
I do remind myself that there are over 100000 flights that land safely every day, many of them encountering various degrees of turbulence. As I sat there, dealing with my inner fears, I would have loved for the turbulence to have immediately subsided, but I realized that it was probably not going to happen. Communing with my heavenly father; to give me a sense of calm… was a reminder once again, how wonderfully dependent I/we are on our GOD.
Dependence on God During Times of Turbulence
I think of when Jesus disciples “came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.”
Jesus reassures us: “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
It’s only Christ, it’s only God that can deliver us from the storms of life, from the turbulence that we encounter, expected or unexpected.
God is With Us
Sometimes the things that bring fear and anxiety, are an easy fix. We’re almost embarrassed at our distress over things that seem so small. Other times, there are cataclysmic burdens that create fear and anxiety we may wrestle with throughout the duration of our lives. God is with us every step of the way.
The songwriter says: “what a fellowship, what a joy divine, leaning on the everlasting arms”.
We see God’s strength and feel his hand of deliverance ever close, when we are most vulnerable; at our weakest. Fair skies, and smooth sailing can create a spirit of self-sufficiency and independence. But in our weakness, in our times of need, navigating through lifes storms… through turbulent times, we see afresh that “Gods strength is made perfect in our weakness.”
I can’t imagine travelling through this world, without my Heavenly Father guiding my footsteps. Whether I’m encountering literal turbulence on an airplane high above in the skies, or whether it’s an onset of turbulence from the winds of change that are on the horizon, I’m so thankful I’m able to bring all my worries, fears, and burdens before my God.
The turbulent winds may not stop, the troubling seas may continue to roll, but it is HE who navigates my path, and will always steer my on the right course.
Psalm 107:29-30 says: “He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.
Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven.”
Images Courtesy Of:
Turbulent Skies – Skitterphoto
Sunset – Quangle
Plane Window – Bulletrain749
Ariport – Free-Photos
Cabin – Ryan McGuire
Brad offers up practical, scriptural advice from a perspective borne out of everyday life encounters. As we live and move and have our being…it’s the individual life lessons that most often present the greatest challenges, but can yield the richest blessings. We’ve all, as Christians had those faith affirming moments, where we’ve had an overwhelming sense of God’s spirit, or his very presence “at a particular but, maybe random time”.
Brad was born and still resides in a small community in the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia, where he and his wife Karen raised their 3 children. Brad & Karen fellowship at the Greenland Bible Chapel, where Brad serves as an elder. Brad loves meeting and engaging with people. His background in sales has provided opportunities to travel throughout the US and Canada, networking with people from all walks of life. Brad is a singer/songwriter, and has recorded 3 Christian albums. Songs from his “Brighter Day” release, have aired on Christian Radio stations across Canada and two of Brad’s albums are on HopeStreamRadio’s playlist.
Greg Reader – Focus of the Local Church
Heather Rodin – Alice
Jack Popjes – Jesus and the Giant Scissors
James Bruyn – Pause to Pray