Thursday, February 11, 2010

"He holds the whole world in His hands."

Yesterday as we boarded a plane to St. Louis to visit our children, we were aware that a snow storm was headed for the Southeast, just north of us. Our flight, however, was on time, and there appeared to be no reason not to proceed. But my mind did wander back to a specific plane trip we made many years ago.
We were headed to Charleston, WV to visit some dear friends and it would be the first plane trip for our then 2 ½ year old son, David. To prepare him for this trip, I spent time beforehand discussing the plane ride and what to expect. I shouldn’t have been surprised that at one point he asked me “Momma, will the plane fall out of the sky?” I told him, “No son, God will not let us fall.” He seemed satisfied with that answer and went back to his play.

But on that memorable plane trip, as we approached the Charleston airport, we were asked to buckle up as there were thunderstorms in the area, and we were in for a bumpy ride. Bumpy was a mild description. It remains to this day the worst plane experience of my life. We were in a small airplane, David and I on one side of the aisle and my husband, Bruce, on the opposite aisle seat. Thunder and lightning was exploding in the night sky outside our window and every few minutes the plane would suddenly drop 15 feet or more, causing me to lose my breath, and experience a short term “blackout”. If you have traveled often, you may know what I mean. It was such a rough ride that I did something I have never done before. I started to sing. Out loud. I began to sing “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands.” I went through every verse and variation I could think of, along with the hand motions. I did it for David. But I also did it for myself and those around me. I sang that he had David in His hands, Momma in His Hands, Daddy in His hands, and everyone else I could think of. A gentleman three rows up turned and glanced back at me. Before we landed, David asked if he could sit by his daddy. So I held one hand and Bruce grabbed the other as he rocked his way across the aisle. I suppose a 2 ½ year old could get embarrassed by his mother’s singing on a plane.

When the plane landed, there was no applause, but I noticed no one said anything at all. Nothing for the entire time we waited to disembark. When we met our friends at the baggage claim, they told us they were scared for us and praying that we would make it safely. They said it was a horrific thunderstorm and they were surprised the pilot could land at the airport. Apparently there were also numerous tornados sighted that night.

Later that night, Bruce told me that when David crossed the aisle to sit by him, he said to his dad, “Don’t worry, Daddy, God won’t let us fall.” The child got it! He understood! I have thought of that often in my life. We have had a very blessed life. Yes, we have experienced more than a few trials along the way, but we have been blessed and protected by God. Most of the time I walk in complete faith and trust in my God. But like all believers, there are times when I, like Peter walking to Jesus on the water, try to keep my eyes on Him but then turn to look at my circumstances, only to start sinking in worry. I am like the guy who told Jesus. “Yes, Lord, I believe. Help me in my unbelief.” Mark 9:24.

The enemy would like us to do that. To trust ourselves and not the Creator, who formed us and the universe. Sometimes the adoption journey can seem bumpy too. Unexpected events arise that derail us on the journey. There are job losses, illnesses, difficulty raising funds, and other things. Sometimes the in-country experience for international adoptions take unforeseen turns. And for our precious birthmothers, life seems to have more than its share of burdens. But these events are not surprises to God. He calls out to us to turn all of our cares over to Him, trust completely in Him, focus on Him, and step out of the boat.

Our country is currently in one of its worst economic times in history. We watch in helplessness as people die and are in desperate need in Haiti. People are losing their jobs, dying of diseases, babies are aborted, human trafficking exists, and people are searching for answers in all the wrong places. Jesus explained to His disciples that they could expect trials. We live in a fallen world that does not know its Creator. Thus we are called to follow Christ and to trust the Father. He knows our sorrows, fears, disappointments, failures and doubts. Nothing takes Him by surprise. He asks us to “walk by faith and not by sight”: II Corinthians 5:7. As Christians we know the end game and we know that He holds the whole world in His hands. What more comfort do we need?

Karen Ely
Domestic Social Worker

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