Sunshine in the Valley

humor and encouragement from my heart to yours

Lesson in an airplane…

on September 14, 2009

Recently I took a plane flight to visit a friend. I had a layover in Chicago’s O’Hare airport, and as we landed I noted the dreary, drizzly weather that blanketed the area with a general sense of gloom.

Flights were delayed due to the cloud and fog and rain, and spirits seemed generally down in the airport. I sipped a hot chai tea latte while I waited…. there are very few days that cannot be made better by a Starbuck’s chai, after all. ;)

My connecting flight finally took off after a series of delays, and once again I noticed how depressing it was outside with the damp grayness everywhere. How bleak. As the jet gained altitude, however, there was suddenly a collective gasp. As we finally broke through that seemingly insurmountable cloud bank, there lay before us the most beautiful sunset I have ever seen. Brilliant hues of pink and gold shimmered from the tops of majestic thunderheads, creating a radiant landscape all around us. The source of depression below had created the backdrop for a breathtaking scene above. We stared in wonder as the rainy day was forgotten and the beauty of that sunset was absorbed instead.

And then it hit me.

This is how God sees our trials.

We see the darkness. The clouds. The rain. The trouble. We’re looking at those times of heartache and pain from the underside, and it seems like the sun is gone. The gloom, we think, is going to last forever.

God sees from a different perspective. He sees the darkness as a platform from which His glory can shine. He wants to use those fleeting thunderheads to reflect the glory of His majesty and create something beautiful.

Because the sun never left. It was there, still shining, we just couldn’t see it because of the storm. It was the circumstances that changed. Beyond the clouds, the beautiful sunrises and sunsets continue as always… and if we just wait a little while, they always appear again, chasing away the darkness and reminding us that trials always “come to pass”.

They never “come to stay”.

And when the dark nights come….when I cannot catch the faintest light for all those clouds of sadness or confusion or loss…I hope I can always remember…

…the Son is still there.

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3 responses to “Lesson in an airplane…

  1. Charity Taylor says:

    That was a beautiful lesson! Just what I needed!

  2. Rachel Keeth says:

    I am really enjoying reading your blog and can’t wait till you post more!

  3. Elizabeth says:

    Hey you!

    This post reminded me of a similar experience I had on a plane, on an 11 hour flight from L.A. to London. About halfway through the flight I really needed to stretch my legs…I didn’t know what time it was other than that I figured it would be morning sometime very soon. I walked back to a little area by a big door/windo where a flight attendant was sitting and asked if I could hang out there for a while. She consented.

    This was the biggest window I’d ever seen on a plane; almost the entire door was window. And what I saw outside was unlike anything else. We were above a perfectly symmetrical solid layer of beautifully fluffy clouds–not one break to remind us that earth was below–and the sun had just broken over the “horizon” of those clouds. The color and light of that scene was utterly incredible because it was bouncing all around the hills and valleys of clouds and shooting off in every direction. Sunrise in the clouds at eye level…

    So whenever you look up to an overcast sky, remember what God sees on the other side.

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