For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. – Hebrews 2:10
Flying here in Nigeria has gone from being a pleasurable experience to a nightmarish one in the last few years. A number of plane crashes can be singled out as the major source of fear that is now associated with domestic flights within the country.
In addition to that, poor maintenance records and the greed of airline operators that leads to the dangerous practice of cutting corners in the industry has multiplied the fears of many. The weather in Nigeria has certain seasons when flying is very difficult but many feel they do not have an option due to the poor state of the roads and other factors.
For me personally, I used to absolutely love flying as a kid. I never experienced the fear that now grips my stomach on domestic flights. In particular, the turbulence experienced during these flights send me into a frenzy of prayers as I clutch my arm rests very tightly and look at my wrist watch with the hopes of fast forwarding the time and getting the plane safely on the ground.
In my experience, pilots who engage their passengers and keep them informed go a long way to getting them relaxed and easing the tension in the cabin. In one instance, the pilot warned us that a severe storm had gathered around our original flight path and that he would have to fly around it. He told us that we would feel the impact of the storm for a few minutes as we brush around the edges of the storm cloud. He also told us that his maneuver would add to our journey time.
In another instance, the pilot in this case kept us in the dark. We tried to land twice but visibility was too poor. Eventually he came on the radio and said we were returning to our starting point because we couldn’t land and we were running out of fuel! Gasps were heard all around the cabin that day as everyone started to wonder if there was more to the pilot’s story than we had been made to believe. Those two experiences were similar in the prevailing conditions but in terms of how I coped as a passenger, the first pilot did a whole lot better.
In the same vein, the prophetic word from Jesus, the Captain of our salvation, goes a long way in putting our hearts at ease when the storm clouds gather around our destinies. We may be shaken around and thrown about by external factors but the fact that our Captain has already told us to expect such experiences and reassured us that we will get to our final destinations, we can truly be at peace in our hearts.
One clear biblical example of this can be taken from the life of the Apostle Paul. When everyone else felt hopeless about their situation at sea, Paul had the sure word of God and became a source of encouragement to those around him.
21 After they had gone a long time without food, Paul stood up before them and said: “Men, you should have taken my advice not to sail from Crete; then you would have spared yourselves this damage and loss. 22 But now I urge you to keep up your courage, because not one of you will be lost; only the ship will be destroyed. 23 Last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me 24 and said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.’ 25 So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me. – Acts 27
Whenever life’s storms gather around your heart again, remind yourself of what God spoke over your life concerning that situation. Tune your inner man to the frequency of heaven and here those coveted words: “This is your Captain speaking…do not be afraid”.