By Billy Walker
I live in a state where all four seasons last about three months a piece. Occasionally, one or the other may hang on a little longer. But how long do seasons last in our lives?
It has been a busy, hectic, unique season of life in these past months. My dad has been in the hospital for over four months of the past 15. I bought a new car only to have it totaled before two payments had been made.
As far as our church goes, we’ve gone through a tremendous transition period that has lasted for quite a lengthy time. The process has been consuming, overwhelming, incredible, miraculous, overwhelming, educational, a spiritual journey, and–did I mention, overwhelming?
We see what is in front of us, not what is ahead of us
It has been one crazy season of life. However, have you noticed how God may give you vision for something, but not necessarily tell you when and how it would end? Well, if He did, we might think the journey too extreme, and we wouldn’t even start!
We stand on the edge of a midterm election, the most important of a lifetime (until the next midterm election!). In just the past few weeks we have gone through natural disasters, manmade disasters, many wars of words with one country or another, and political arguments in our own country.
But something happened a short time ago that helped put much of it into perspective.
Climbing to 10,000 feet
A while back my wife took advantage of a birthday present I had purchased for her for a significant birthday. She had said she wanted to jump out of a plane and I got it for her.
We got there early for an all too brief bit of training, as well as for her to read through the lengthy rules and regulations and sign off on each paragraph that basically said, “If you die, it’s not our fault!”
Then, she was off! Climbing to the height of 10,000 feet, and then they jumped out. After a quick couple of flips, they were in free fall–at a speed that reached 126 MPH.
With the earth seeming to approach at a breakneck pace, the instructor pulled the chute, shooting them back up into the air a bit, before circling a few times and landing safely just a few feet from where I stood.
My mouth was wide open, my heart was pounding, and all I had done was watch it (and listen, I heard her before I saw her)! In light of this, here’s the question and the reason for my post:
Aren’t there times in life when it seems like the world, our nation, your family, or just you are simply in free fall? And are there not times when it seems like all of them combined are speeding through the air with devastation fast approaching on every front?
Learning from the freefall
What do we do, and where do we turn? It’s enough to take our breath away! Another world-wide threat, another hurricane lingering, another flood, another senseless mass shooting. Yet another accident, another hospital stay, another doctor’s appointment, another fight with our spouse, more owed than what we have, another disappointment, another promotion for someone else. Another, another, another.
The ground seems to be approaching so quickly! It’s then that we need to be reminded, we’re not in this alone! Deuteronomy 33:27a says “The God of old is your dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms.”
You are not flying through space by yourself. You have an instructor who is with you! He has “been there, done that, and bought the T-Shirt” many times before. None of this has caught Him off guard.
You do realize; He’s not in heaven saying, “Well, I didn’t see that one coming.” (He won’t even be saying that after the next election.) He is, according to His promises, all around us and all over our situation! As Psalm 139:5 says, “You have encircled me; you have placed your hand on me.”
Now, it doesn’t mean that we will always avoid the disastrous situations as they speedily approach. But it does mean we can rest assured, we are not free falling alone! He’s got this, He’s got you, and He knows when to pull the cord. And you want to know the best part? First thing Laurie said when she landed safely back on earth was, “I so want to do that again!”
God can even allow us to enjoy the ride; catch a view we might not otherwise have seen, and experience Him in an entirely new way! When it seems like you are free falling into oblivion, lean back into the one who has you!
He won’t let you go, and when you’ve landed safely, you can share with others the ride you’ve been riding. Praying for you!
BILLY WALKER (@billyhwalker) is the pastor of Calvary Church in Southgate, Michigan. He is the vice president of the Billy Walker Evangelistic Association and is the president of the Pastor’s Conference for the Baptist State Convention of Michigan.