I’m currently looking out the window of my plane at the farms of Ontario, Canada.
Yes, despite traveling somewhere almost once a month, I’m still that excited little kid with my face plastered to the window of the plane. Truthfully, I can’t help it.
Besides exploring a new city in my own, watching the landscape move slowly across my vision is my favorite part of travel.
Today, God used it to speak to my tired heart.
The weather in Ottawa today suited my mood rather well. Rainy, gray, a tad chilly. The word that came to mind was ‘troubled.’ Sitting on the runway, I reflected on why my current state paralleled the cold Ottawa day.
“It’s just been a rough few months,” I have said, over and over, to friends I haven’t texted back, family that hasn’t seen me, my workout accountability partner. What an easy way to end the conversation and not have to elaborate.
Anyway, as I was mulling over my “rough few months,” I felt the plane begin to pick up speed. I always smile when the sudden burst of force pushes me back against my seat, but not today. Today, I just wanted to get into the air and off the runway and away from the rain.
As the plane began to cut through the low layer of thick gray clouds, I got a little sad. My sight was completely obscured, not a good feeling for someone staring out the window needing to see the ground. I glanced around and saw that I was the only one intently focusing on the world outside the plane.
However, it was getting brighter.
Finally, the plane hit the beautiful area above the clouds, where the sunshine is as bright and constant as ever, and the sky above is as “Oklahoma” blue. I looked down into the clouds, and squinted to see Toronto. Within moments, the pilot had flown us past the clouds and my view of the Canadian countryside was restored.
I let out a deep sigh. Momentary peace.
You have to get above the clouds. You have to find the light.
Boom. Clarity in a flash.
Thank you Lord.
At 14,000 feet, I realized that as I have struggled through the last few months, I have stayed on the ground, in the midst of all my problems.
And I haven’t moved.
I’ve kept my focus on what I was facing and all that was out of my control, and as a result, felt like the roof was caving in on me. Anytime I tried to climb out, I would get in the clouds of doubt, insecurity and control. And just as I did on the plane, I look frantically for the ground, where im miserable and burdened but secure.
How often do we do this? I know I do. We try to dig out, to reach up, to move ahead, and instead of trusting and walking out our faith, we listen to the voice of fear. We need security. We need to stay where we are. Growth hurts. Healing hurts. Faith hurts. They can pull on us, creating resistance.
My past few months of “roughness” have been full of resistance, breaking me down like a Wright-brothers-era biplane.
As my plane tore through the clouds, I could hear God reminding me how to get through the clouds. If I’m going to get through the turbulence in my life, I’m going to have to keep my eyes up focused on the light, and I’m going to have to climb with determination through any resistance I face.
For me, this means shaking off a lot of things that hinder me from breaking out of this storm I’m in. Relationships, attitudes, unforgiveness, pride. Anything that makes the ground more enticing. To get past the clouds and turbulence, I have to climb. To climb, you have to be light enough to get in the air. With the weight on my shoulders right now, I’m not getting too far.
But most importantly, my eyes have to stay up, focused on the light that I know s on the other side. Part of my re net turbulence was made worse by self-imposed distance from God. It’s been awful, yet I was the one who put it there.
While I would love to say that all is resolved in my heart as I land to meet my connecting flight, that is not the case. Things are clearer at 14,000 feet but seeing is only the first step.
There will definitely be more to say as I try to get above this storm with God’s amazing help and grace, but in the meantime, I’m off to catch my next plane.