Sometimes when I’m stuck in a holding pattern, not yet landing on a decision to be made with troubles that need solutions; I feel like a jet plane hovering over the airport waiting for orders to land. There are also times I may have landed but still stuck sitting on the tarmac until all checks have been made and the gate finally opens so I can get on my way with the agenda of my life.
If you’ve ever traveled by plane from one place to another, you soon realize that flying is a lot of hurry and wait. You hurry to get to the gate of departure; you hurry to double check your flight because schedules change in an instant; you struggle with baggage you pray meets the requirements; and you are anxious because you are at the mercy of all who have a part in your travel. The reason those boards that list arrivals and departures are spaced throughout the airport is because your travel life can change in minutes. The gate of departure or arrival can change while you are walking or running to your gate! So, you must check while enroute to the gate often! When changes are made, then you wait for the next available plane to take—sometimes waiting overnight—in a chair surrounded with your luggage. You look and feel like a hunter in the wilderness protecting his possessions in the night ready to fend off intruders.
Okay, we digress. You probably realize by now I have traveled quite a bit by air with many experiences of hurry and wait. Here’s what I have learned. Stuck times can be frustrating but these pauses in life can also be important for learning and growing. In the quiet pauses between life’s activities, I sometimes wonder if Jesus is thinking about when He will come back to solve all problems on earth, not just mine. But then I remember, only God knows that and scriptures tells us NOONE else knows the time, either. So, stop guessing.
I then wonder how ready am I for Jesus’ return? In the hovering stuck times of life, I pause and think about my current priorities and wonder if it is my unreadiness that I am in a holding pattern? Maybe there are some checks and balances that need to be made, some adjustments to my way of living or maybe God, who is always at work for us, not against us, is clearing the runway for a safer landing? Do I trust him as much as I trust people in the flight industry? If so, then my hope, faith and trust needs some much needed work!!
Paul helps us with all these thoughts. In his letter to the church, He reminds us WHO we are in Christ, WHO we need to believe, trust and follow, with HOW we need to live. Simple. Truth with landing instructions! Let’s go, our flight is ready to depart!
1 Thessalonians 5, The Message
1-3 I don’t think, friends, that I need to deal with the question of when all this is going to happen. You know as well as I that the day of the Master’s coming can’t be posted on our calendars. He won’t call ahead and make an appointment any more than a burglar would. About the time everybody’s walking around complacently, congratulating each other—“We’ve sure got it made! Now we can take it easy!”—suddenly everything will fall apart. It’s going to come as suddenly and inescapably as birth pangs to a pregnant woman.
4-8 But friends, you’re not in the dark, so how could you be taken off guard by any of this? You’re sons of Light, daughters of Day. We live under wide open skies and know where we stand. So let’s not sleepwalk through life like those others. Let’s keep our eyes open and be smart. People sleep at night and get drunk at night. But not us! Since we’re creatures of Day, let’s act like it. Walk out into the daylight sober, dressed up in faith, love, and the hope of salvation.
9-11 God didn’t set us up for an angry rejection but for salvation by our Master, Jesus Christ. He died for us, a death that triggered life. Whether we’re awake with the living or asleep with the dead, we’re alive with him! So speak encouraging words to one another. Build up hope so you’ll all be together in this, no one left out, no one left behind. I know you’re already doing this; just keep on doing it.
The Way He Wants You to Live
12-13 And now, friends, we ask you to honor those leaders who work so hard for you, who have been given the responsibility of urging and guiding you along in your obedience. Overwhelm them with appreciation and love!
13-15 Get along among yourselves, each of you doing your part. Our counsel is that you warn the freeloaders to get a move on. Gently encourage the stragglers, and reach out for the exhausted, pulling them to their feet. Be patient with each person, attentive to individual needs. And be careful that when you get on each other’s nerves you don’t snap at each other. Look for the best in each other, and always do your best to bring it out.
16-18 Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live.
19-22 Don’t suppress the Spirit, and don’t stifle those who have a word from the Master. On the other hand, don’t be gullible. Check out everything, and keep only what’s good. Throw out anything tainted with evil.
23-24 May God himself, the God who makes everything holy and whole, make you holy and whole, put you together—spirit, soul, and body—and keep you fit for the coming of our Master, Jesus Christ. The One who called you is completely dependable. If he said it, he’ll do it!
25-27 Friends, keep up your prayers for us. Greet all the followers of Jesus there with a holy embrace. And make sure this letter gets read to all the brothers and sisters. Don’t leave anyone out.
28 The amazing grace of Jesus Christ be with you!
We have taken note of all your flight instructions! We realize again how awesome and loving you are. We realize that the answers for life are always all about you and our relationship with you. So, make me whole and holy, keeping me fit for your coming!
In Jesus Name, For Your Glory, Amen! Yes! I believe!