Psalm 139:9-10 – If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. (KJV)
A friend, having recently visited the Hawaiian island of Maui, told me of seeing Psalm 139:9 inscribed on the memorial to Charles Lindbergh, the famous aviator.
My own father was a private pilot. He'd taken lessons when we were very young, first purchasing a two-seater Cessna and later trading it for a 4-seater Stinson in the hopes that we might take our family vacations in flight rather than by car.
When he flew on his own or with a passenger, we'd run out to our porch furiously waving tea towels as he flew over our house. He in turn, would "tilt" his wings, signifying his wave back to us. So it was with great excitement and anticipation that the day came when I would go up in the air for my first flight — at the ripe old age of 8.
I still remember the thrill of climbing up into the airplane, taxiing down the runway, turning towards the wind — my little heart beating with excitement in time to the vibration as we sat revving up the propeller — then whooshing along the runway and lifting off the tarmac, up, high, into the beautiful blue sky.
Everything was so fascinating: the sky, the clouds, the instruments on the panel — which was all I could see. All, that is, until he had to bank a turn. Then I could see the lay of the land in its patchwork design, only it seemed to be on a slant, and suddenly so was my stomach. That signalled the ride's end, but, sick as I was, I knew I was safe.
Our lives can be so like that plane ride. Things can be going great, we can feel as if we're on top of the world — then something can happen in mere moments to "turn us sideways": an accident, bad news, ill health, lost relationships, lost jobs — seemingly sending us "to the uttermost parts of the sea".
God, our Father, is with us, just as surely as my dad was with me. We know He is at the "controls" and we can trust Him to see us through whatever situation befalls us.
Prayer: Our Father, we know you are with us when our spirits soar, when we enjoy life's bountiful pleasures: our health, our homes, our family and friends, our work. May we remember too that it is you who sees us through life's downsides — our challenges and our changes — and that even there shall thy hand lead us, even there, thy right hand shall hold us. In Your name we pray. Amen.