I’ll be taking off again into the wild blue yonder this Friday, winging my way once more to Ecuador. I am very excited to go—although less than excited about the journey itself. This will be my fifth trip to Ecuador. I love each opportunity I have to visit Laurie and Fernando and my seven beautiful grandchildren, and I am so grateful to the Lord and to my husband Bob for making it possible. If only I could skip the flying part…
I know—I’m an ungrateful wretch! Thank the Lord for modern jets that make it possible to leave home in the morning and be in South America in time for supper! A hundred years ago when a missionary left home, it could be many years, it could be never, that his family saw him again. Maybe in another hundred years, should the Lord tarry, we’ll be able to climb into a molecular transporter of some sort (think Star Trek) and arrive at our destination in a matter of minutes! Beam me up, Scotty!
Until then—even a one day trip wears me out! It’s all the preparation and getting to the airport; going through check-in and security; getting to the correct gate and waiting around for hours (all alone usually); catching a connecting flight (hopefully); finally arriving—and hoping your baggage did, too! I guess it’s a little like having a baby—there’s a lot of pain and suffering that goes into it (on a much smaller scale, of course!), but in the end, the reward is wonderful!
The actual flying part doesn’t bother me at all. By the time I finally sink into that seat—aah! At last, I can just sit back and relax! I am not a nervous flier, and although the novelty has somewhat worn off, I still find flying way up there above the clouds rather enjoyable.
I’ve always enjoyed looking out the window as I fly. The most beautiful sunset I’ve ever seen was while flying over Cuba. Seeing the Rocky Mountains from above is a totally different perspective of one of my favorite parts of the country. Looking down on the great American desert was a new experience for me, and I love having a sea gull’s view of the ocean as I fly from L.A. to Santa Barbara. There’s just one thing—the best views come when you sit in front of the wings. Over it, you get nothing; behind it, some of the view may still be blocked.
I was thinking about this the other day and wondering what kind of seats I will get on my upcoming flights. I am flying Copa Airlines this time, and I do not get my seat assignment until I check in. Will I sit in front of the wing, over it, behind it? Bummer—I like to choose for myself ahead of time!
And then the Lord brought something to my mind—the best seat of all is under His wing!
First, we see that the shadow of His wing is a place of faith and trust. Psalm 91:4a says, “He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings shalt thou trust…” It is a refuge of protection. “…my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge…” (Psalm 57:1) Just as a mother hen gathers her chicks in the time of storm or danger from predators, God shelters and protects His children so that they need not fear when they put their trust in Him.
The shadow of His wing is also a place of joy and contentment. Psalm 63:7 says, “Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings.” When there is no fear or worry, we can experience the peace, joy, and hope that only our Heavenly Father can give.
Psalm 17:8 says, “Keep me as the apple of thy eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings…” In His sheltering wings is love. I think of a loving mother tenderly cradling her child; a father enveloping his child in a big, warm hug. Our good, loving Heavenly Father cradles us with His loving kindness, His watchcare, and His tender mercies. “Remember, O Lord, thy tender mercies and thy lovingkindnesses; for they have been ever of old.” (Psalm 25:6)
When I step on that plane Friday morning, regardless of where I am sitting, I want to feel safe. I want to be able to just relax. And I know I will be thinking of the reward at the end of my journey—seeing my loved ones again! In this journey of life, the best place to be is in the shadow of His wing. It is a place of faith and trust, joy, contentment, peace and love! What a way to fly!