Friday, February 20, 2009

#29 First in Flight

Isaiah 40:31 "...They will mount up with wings like eagles..."

For as far back as I can remember, I have loved airplanes and the concept of
flight. Growing up I was forever building model planes. I spent a lot of
time with my grandparents when I was little and whenever my grandmother
would go to town I would tag along and then beg her to buy me a model
airplane. My collection ranged from the crudest of bi-planes to the giants
of then-modern war birds. If it had wings I wanted to build it. My
grandmother was so indulgent of my love and she rarely told me no when I
asked for the models. She had been somewhat conditioned by my uncle when he
was a boy. When he was growing up he always wanted to build model cars and
trucks. So I suppose it felt pretty natural to buy me the airplanes when I
came along.

My love for airplanes continued as I became a teenager. Two of my friends
in high school had parents who could afford to help them get their Private
Airmen's Certificate. Most people call it a "pilot's license" but it is
technically an airmen's certificate. Anyway, two of my friends had theirs
and they took me up with them on occasion. I can recall the first time we
sat on the runway in the small Cessna and my heart beat with great
anticipation. As my buddy awaited clearance from the control tower I sat
there in awe. Finally, we got the Ok for takeoff and we began to roll
forward. In no time the small craft climbed into the air. What an awesome
feeling it was to rise above the earth and see everything below get smaller
and smaller. We only stayed up for about 30 minutes but it was like taking
a trip to heaven for me. While we were in the air my friend let me have the
yoke. I pulled back ever so gently and the nose would raise up. I could
twist it to the right or left and the craft would bank in that direction. I
was more excited than I had ever been in my life. Afterwards, I spent all
the time I could reading about flight and dreaming of someday having my own
certification. However, my family was poor and having the several thousand
dollars needed for the lessons and the ground school were not even remotely

When my family and I first moved to Southern for me to pursue my ministerial
training we lived in a duplex apartment right next to the Collegedale
Airport. Watching the planes take off and land never got old to me. Even
today when I drive by an airport I have to stay focused on the road because
I will be drawn to watch the planes. I still love to fly and I jump at any
chance to do so. I have also come to the point in my life where I realize
that getting my Private Airmen's Certificate is not likely to be a reality.
It will always be a dream and as such I will never give up on it. But
instead of thinking about that dream and feeling that it may never be a
reality I choose to look beyond and focus on a time when I know that I will
surely fly. You see, as Christians we can each have the hope of flying.
Yes, I know that not everyone shares my affinity for flying. I am quite
aware that some people are petrified of the thought of climbing into to a
multi-thousand pound vehicle that is going to be hurled through the air in
hopes that it will stay there long enough to make it to a desired
destination. However, there is one flight that we should all want to make.
For the Christian there should be an intense desire to fly someday soon.
One of my favorite passages in the Bible is 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18. It is
in that passage that we read about the Lord coming with a shout to raise the
dead in Christ back to life. The resurrected dead will fly to meet Jesus in
the air then those that are alive and remain when Christ returns will also
be called up in the air to meet Jesus where we will all then follow our Lord
all the way to the courts of heaven. Not only will we all get to fly on
that glorious day, but we will see things that only a very few human eyes
have ever seen along the way. We will be shown things that "eye has not
seen and ear has not and which has not entered into the heart of man..." (2
Cor 2:9).

I don't know about you friends but I long for that day. It is that hope of
being with Jesus that gives me the courage to push through the difficult
times in my life. It is knowing that soon Jesus will rescue us from this
world of sin and death that gives me the zeal to share the good news of the
gospel to the world around me. One day in the not-too-distant future we
will see the eastern sky burst open as the Lamb of God comes to reap His
redeemed. In His glory, the glory of the Father, and the glory of all the
holy angels Jesus will come to give flight to His followers. When that day
comes I don't really care if I am first in flight. I simply want to be
among the harvest that is gathered unto my Lord. I encourage each of you
this evening to choose to also be among those that love Jesus more than the
fleeting pleasures of this temporal life so that you too can mount up with
wings like eagles and follow your Savior to heaven.

Dear Father of Grace and Mercy,
As we pause to lift up our hearts in prayer to You just now.
We bring You praise, glory, and honor because You are worthy of all three.
Father there are many of us who love to fly and probably just as many who
could care less if they ever fly in any man-made craft, but regardless of
our earthly preference regarding flight I pray that You will place within
each of us an intense desire to take flight with Jesus when He comes in all
the glory of heaven. Give us the courage to choose now in this moment to
follow Jesus completely. I pray that we would all be willing to let off all
the weights of sin that this world would have us cling to. May those
weights of sin be cut loose so we may rise up and be with Jesus when that
day comes. We know that we cannot do this of our own accord Father. We
desperately need Your Holy Spirit to come in and fill our hearts with His
love and character. May we fully surrender so that we may be molded into
the men and women that You would have us to be. May we bow low before Jesus
here on earth that we may take flight with Him very soon. It is in Jesus'
name that we pray, Amen.

No comments:

Post a Comment