I like to fly, but nearly every flight has those moments, those heart-stopping moments of fear. I hate those moments. Cruising along, finally able to turn on portable electronic devices (and listen to music on my iPod, tuning out the conversations all around), I get comfortable and open my book and, all of a sudden, the airplane bumps and bucks. We all look around, trying to gauge by the flight attendants’ expressions whether we should be worried. The plane hits more turbulence and we look out the windows, having trouble believing that we’re not actually hitting something. It feels just like a car running over something. As hard and violent as the bumps seem, it’s hard to believe there’s not something physically in the way. But to the naked eye, the air looks clear.
Air turbulence is caused by air masses traveling at different speeds. The “bumps” occur when an airplane crosses over the point where two different speeds of air meet each other. We can’t see these spots. Much of the time the pilots can’t predict or avoid them. But visible or not, they’re there. They cause the plane to suddenly accelerate or shake or dip or bounce. If you’ve never had that experience, if you’ve not been jolted around by those bumps, if you’ve not grabbed your armrest and wondered if you’ll make it home, you may not really understand. But once you’ve experienced that kind of turbulence, you know it’s real.
So many people have never had an experience with God. They may know of Him, and they may even believe in Him, but they haven’t felt him. Without personal experiences, it can be difficult to believe, and I understand that. But once you have experienced Him? You’ll feel a jolt more powerful than the air turbulence. You’ll marvel at how real He is, even if others can’t see Him. You’ll understand that experience triumphs sight — if you’ve felt Him, you don’t have to see Him. If you’ve had a run-in with the Almighty, you will know. You will feel the effects of it. You might even be a little scared. You will definitely be changed. You might even change directions. You might accelerate down the same path you were already on. You might fall down. But no matter what your personal experience is, you won’t want it to stop, because going on a journey with our Heavenly Father is like nothing else. You’ll reach new heights, and you’ll probably end up going places you never imagined. So when you feel that bump, whether it’s big or small? Don’t fight it. Don’t try to get away from it. Just close your eyes and hang on, because you’re in for the ride of your life.