If you have ever flown in a plane there is a very good chance that you have experienced turbulence. Turbulence is caused by the up-and-down air currents that blend the air in the troposphere, the 5-8 miles distance between the earth’s surface and the stratosphere. Turbulence is most often encountered in the lower troposphere during the daytime as the sun causes convective mixing of air. If you have ever flown through a thunderstorm you know that they can cause turbulence too. When pilots encounter turbulence they go to a higher altitude to find smoother air.
I took a few flying lessons during a midlife crisis a few years ago. During one of the first lessons my instructor told me not to be afraid of turbulence. He told met to pay attention the next time that I drive in a car at how many times I am jarred around in my seat as I make sharp turns, go up and down hills, or hit potholes. When I followed his instructions on the way home after this lesson, I realized that you actually feel less turbulence when you fly commercially than you do while driving in a car.
Doesn’t “turbulence” describes the challenges that we face in life really well? When you and I experience suffering in our lives we are in good company. The Scriptures tell us that even Jesus suffered and that, “In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering.” (Hebrews 2:10, NIV) I know that the Word of God is flawless, and that it only speaks Truth, but am I the only one who finds this verse hard to embrace? Although we can move closer to God when He blesses us, don’t we turn to Him the most during times of uncertainty and hardship? So what should we do during the thunderstorms and turbulence of life, when our hearts are broken and we don’t even have enough strength to pray? Maybe we could take a lesson from the airline pilots. Let’s let our hearts rise up to a higher altitude to be with Jesus where there is always smoother air.