The Bumpy Ride


The Lord God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Psalm 46.1

So I made it to the Cape Town International Airport very early in the morning, in spite of the miserable weather. I was just excited to be going back home to my family after several months away studying, but the weather did not seem to share my jubilation. It was quite so very cold indeed, and wet as well. Dark clouds hung idly above us, threatening to thoroughly wet and embarrass anyone who dared say or do anything that they did not approve. Flying into such blackness was a very fearsome some thought to me. I had been on planes several times before, but I had never been on one taking off in such bad weather.

As we were boarding the plane, dark thoughts started to cross and flood my mind. "Is it very safe to be on a plane in such weather? What if something bad happens? Or maybe I should reschedule this?" I quickly countered my own thoughts: But that would be too costly, and probably unnecessary, I thought.

I braced for the journey ahead and peered over to the pilot, now already seated in his cockpit. With his dark glasses, crisp, well-ironed, extra white shirt and headphones plus mouthpiece strapped on his head, he looked totally professional. I decided this man was good at his job and we all, would be very safe, after all. He certainly knew what he was doing, I silently concluded.

As usual the jet plane took off with that powerful tug, almost as if it were being pulled along by another bigger, stronger engine ahead! In no time, we were tearing into those dark clouds, but no sooner than we had begun, the ride suddenly became very bumpy! The captain's cool voice came off the loudspeakers, "Please remain with your seatbelts fastened, we are experiencing some turbulence." Something inside me was screaming, "Told you! But you wouldn't listen!" And I was starting to become moody and angry at the weather...I too, was turning grey... But then something in the captain's gentle, calm voice told me he had everything under control and I needed not panic.

The bumpy ride continued for a few more minutes and I certainly was not comfortable! And looking at the airplane's wing tip dangling flimsily against the clouds and fierce wind made the whole experience no better for me.

Suddenly, the plane broke through! The dark patch of grey cloud was quickly falling behind and below us as the plane continued its vertical climb. I was greatly amazed at the sudden change in the weather now. The sun was shining radiantly and the sky so ever blue! What an amazing transformation, we were now flying above the clouds!

Then it dawned on me. How often in life do we find ourselves under the weather? Following and living in complete subjection to all its dictates? When we are under the cloud, all we see is the rain and we feel the cold. And it is then, that we completely forget that high up above the clouds, the sun is ever-shining, for the clouds are only temporary and are just passing through. When life's troubles overwhelm us, we forget that God is still in full control and His majestic light, even though temporarily obscured, it is ever-shining, and He is constantly directing it at us!

I immediately realized my earlier folly in putting my trust in the well-shaven pilot and his very clean uniform. Yes, he was the pilot and we were in his hands, but ultimately out trust should be in God Almighty. It is only God who is our refuge and strength, the ever-present help in trouble!

The rest of the flight was nice and smooth, as I basked in the heavenly glory all around. But as the plane started its descent as we got closer to Johannesburg, our destination, we plunged into the dark clouds again! Upon landing, the weather had flipped again, and it resembled that in Cape Town. But this time my mood was not affected by the clouds, for I knew that high above, the sun was still shining.

By: Amos Musengi amosmusengi@gmail.com , Cape Town, South Africa
28 June 2012

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