We moms love it when our college students or recent grads return to the nest for the summer or while completing their transition into adulthood. Well, most of the time. Often, their return brings turbulence. A few small unsettling bumps in our normal routine are expected—but sometimes they bring home wildly unexpected and sudden “changes in altitude” that can literally take our breath away. Do you recall the emergency instructions given before any flight? “First place the oxygen mask on yourself before helping someone else.” Our students or anyone else impacted by their turbulent behavior benefit when we take care of ourselves first. May the reposted blog below be the oxygen you need if you ever encounter a wilder ride than anticipated!
What To Do When Life Becomes Turbulent
“Yes, he alone is my Rock, my rescuer, defense and fortress. Why then should I be tense with fear when troubles come?” Psalm 62:2 (TLB)
As I headed down the gateway toward the plane, I noticed something was different. My heart wasn’t racing and my palms weren’t damp with perspiration. To say it was a phenomenon is an understatement.
The fact that I wasn’t afraid was proof God was changing me from the inside out. Years prior, you couldn’t have paid me enough to step foot on a plane.
As I looked out the plane window, I marveled at the beautiful day God created. There’s not a cloud in the sky … It’s going to be great flying weather. No bumps or turbulence to worry about. I can just sit back, relax and enjoy.
One hour into the flight I was singing a different tune. Although the sky was still clear, the turbulence was anything but enjoyable. Even the flight attendants were asked to take their seats, and the cockpit was silent. Uh … hello? Can someone tell me what’s going on up there?!?!
What started out as a relaxing flight turned into a stressful experience. With three hours left in the flight, I didn’t want to feel anxious the entire time. I needed to shift my focus off the turbulence and on to God.
With all the bumping, shifting and rattling, it wouldn’t be easy, but it was necessary.
I was determined to learn from this experience, not be terrified by it.
So after praying for God’s protection, I closed my eyes and whispered, “God, what are You trying to teach me? What am I supposed to learn?”
For the remainder of the flight I waited and watched for God to reveal some invaluable lesson. By the time we landed I walked off the plane with this in mind: Unexpected turbulence creates an opportunity to experience more of God.
It’s the perfect opportunity to …
Grow my faith.
Rather than shrink back in fear or become discouraged, I can lean in and draw closer to God’s presence while looking for His activity in the midst of my circumstances. Patiently waiting for God to act on my behalf can be a catalyst for spiritual maturity and deeper faith in Him.
Remember Who is in control.
Remembering God is in control helps lead my heart and mind to a place of peace. I may not always know exactly where I’m headed, but God does. Regardless of how turbulent the journey may be, He promises to get me safely from my present location to His eternal destination (Heaven). Therefore, I have nothing to fear.
Make a refining decision.
Sometimes, turbulence is not an option. So I’m left with two questions: Am I going to worry and wonder if God will get me through this? Or, am I going to relax and trust that God will get me through this? Hebrews 11:6 give us the best answer: “… without faith, it is impossible to please God …” (NIV). I just need to apply it to my life. And when I do, God refines me in the process.
Watch for God’s goodness and glory.
When turbulence comes I can easily miss God’s goodness. I need to look for His glory around me and set my thoughts on the impossible He can do for me.
Has life been tossing you around lately? The next time you experience a little turbulence … whether on a flight or at ground level … remember that you have full access to the One who will hold you steady and secure. Just like Psalm 62:2 states, “Yes, he alone is my Rock, my rescuer, defense and fortress. Why then should I be tense with fear when troubles come?”
Heavenly Father, as I face today’s challenges, help me not to shrink back in fear or discouragement. Instead, teach me how to see these challenges as an opportunity to grow my faith, to remember You are in control, to be refined, and to experience Your goodness and glory. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Acts 2:25, “I see that the LORD is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.” (NLT)
Psalm 91:14-15, “The LORD says, ‘I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name. When they call on me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honor them.’” (NLT)
Does the chaos of life have you feeling overwhelmed and stressed? Check out Stressed-Less Living: Finding God’s Peace in Your Chaotic World by Tracie Miles.
Connect with Leah DiPascal on her blog today and discover tips on how to turn your turbulent life experiences into teachable moments with God.
Proverbs 31 Ministries t-shirts are now available for pre-order until Friday, June 19. Pre-order yours today!
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
What has become a challenge in your life? Ask yourself these questions regarding this challenge:
1. Am I shrinking back in fear and discouragement or am I drawing closer to God’s presence?
2. Do I really believe God is in control of this situation?
3. Am I going to worry or trust God — believing He will get me through this?
4. How can I look for God’s goodness and glory in the midst of my challenge?
Be sure to record your answers in a journal or your Bible.
© 2015 by Leah DiPascal. All rights reserved.
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