The haunting cracks of thunder could be heard even above the roar of the engines.
I once heard a story about a man on a long airline flight. The plane hit some serious trouble. The first warning of the approaching problems came when the sign on the airplane flashed: “Fasten your seat belts.” Then, after a while, a calm voice said, “We shall not be serving the beverages at this time as we are expecting turbulence. Please be sure your seat belt is fastened.” As the man looked around the aircraft, it became obvious that many of the passengers were becoming apprehensive. Later, the voice of the flight attendant said, “We are so sorry that we are unable to serve the meal at this time. Great turbulence is still ahead of us.”The storm broke. The haunting cracks of thunder could be heard even above the roar of the engines. Lightening lit up the darkening skies and within moments that great plane was like a cork tossed around on a celestial ocean. The man confessed that he shared the discomfort and fear of those around him. Again he looked around the plane, he could see that nearly all the passengers were upset and alarmed. Some were praying, some taking deep breaths. The future seemed ominous and many were wondering if they would make it through the storm. Then, he suddenly saw a girl to whom the storm meant nothing. She had tucked her feet beneath her as she sat on her seat and was reading a book. Everything within her small world was calm and orderly. Sometimes she closed her eyes, then she would read again; then she would straighten her legs, but worry and fear were not in her world. When the plane was being buffeted by the terrible storm, when it lurched this way and that, as it rose and fell with frightening severity, or when all the adults were scared half to death, that marvelous child was completely composed and unafraid.The man could hardly believe his eyes. When the plane finally reached its destination, all the terrified passengers were hurrying to disembark;he lingered to speak to the girl whom he had watched throughout the flight. Having commented about the storm and the impact it had on their flight, he asked why she had not been afraid. The child replied:“Sir, my dad is the pilot and he is taking me home.” After hearing this story, I sat in silence for a few moments. That little girl never yelled out in fear, why is this happening, why me, will the plane crash down? She held onto a deep sense of trust. No matter how the outer world appeared, she trusted her daddy to bring her home safely.She closed her eyes every once in a while, yet the confidence she had in her father did not waiver. At times, life presents job loss, financial struggle, health challenges, marriage failure, unexpected tragedies that hit us out of nowhere. When chaos reigns, when fear grabs, when you feel tested, where do you turn? I was reminded of something someone once shared with me about what Jesus taught, “If thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.” When the storms hit your life, do you yell out why me or why not me? Where do you place your trust? Jesus wasn’t teaching about literal eyesight, he was teaching about the eye of our soul, the eye in which we view the circumstances of life. We can develop 20/20 inner vision by focusing on that which we want rather than that which we don’t want. When we focus on the threat, we experience fear. When we focus our inner eye on God, goodness, love,whatever it is that brings us peace,we can find the calm within the storm. Jesus gave us great examples of seeing with the “single” inner eye. He saw health where others saw physical affliction, he saw sight where there was blindness, he saw an abundance of loaves and fishes where others saw scarcity, he saw the purity of spirit in a woman who a crowd wanted to stone as an adulteress. The storm we find ourselves in the midst of can develop our confidence in something greater than the here and now and solidify our trust in a force greater than the circumstance before us. When you get through each storm, you will have a deeper inner knowledge that there within you is a champion who has developed persistence to focus on the good, to focus on that which brings peace. And in the wise words of Jesus, “Peace. Be Still.” xo -a