Flying High with God
It had been almost 18 years since I last flew on an airplane, and that was for a vacation with my wife and two young boys. I didn't realize it had been so long. My employer was sending me to the east coast on a business trip. I didn't look forward to it. It was for training, which meant concentration and hard work.
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Flying High With God

By David E. Thiele

    It had been almost 18 years since I last flew on an airplane, and that was for a vacation with my wife and two young boys. I didn't realize it had been so long. My employer was sending me to the east coast on a business trip. I didn't look forward to it. It was for training, which meant concentration and hard work. After two intense days I was to be put through a battery of tests, which I had to pass. No I really wasn't looking forward to this at all. Perhaps it wouldn't have been so stressful if I was familiar with the area, but, I was going to someplace I had never been - and I was going alone! I was to arrive in New York shortly before dark, rent a car and drive to Connecticut, a piece of cake for a veteran traveler, but then I was not a veteran traveler. My wife and I have been married for twenty-six years and this four-day separation would be one of the longest periods we've been apart. I knew it would seem like an eternity. I prayed for a safe trip and asked for opportunities to witness to my fellow travelers. I always try to be ready to respond when someone asks about the hope within me. Nothing extraordinary happened.

    I made it safely to my destination. I successfully completed the training. I called my wife several times to let her know I was safe and how things were going and to ask for prayer. With the hard part out of the way I began my return trip. On the first leg I was assigned an aisle seat, but with the plane only about half filled the flight attendant asked us to move around to equally distribute the weight. As a result I now had a window seat. I stared out the window as the aircraft took off. I marveled at how much powered flight had progressed in just over 100 years since the Wright brothers' first flight.

Men design and build aircraft - physical laws are applied and they are able to overcome the force of gravity and fly, but I know it is God who holds them up. As the plane rose I watched the cars, houses and buildings below getting smaller. I now had a different perspective. I knew those vehicles, houses and buildings all represented people. People driving, living and working. I thought about how aircraft had been used as effective weapons in wartime with tremendous destructive force. I thought about the development of smart bombs that could be delivered with pinpoint accuracy. Then I thought about prayer bombs, or in this day and age perhaps it would better be described as prayer packages. I was remembered seeing a program on West Berlin when there was an attempt by the Soviet Union to cut it off from the outside world, but the Berlin Airlift kept the food, fuel and other necessities flowing. There was a pilot that dropped candy bars on handkerchief parachutes to children below. Men that had dropped bombs during the war reeking havoc were now delivering life giving supplies and good gifts from above. I was taught that my prayers should be specific and I've encouraged others to do the same. God bless America is a wide dispersal prayer bomb. God has blessed America and continues to bless us. We are privileged to live in one of the richest countries on earth. Yet that prayer is not very specific at all. I didn't know the people represented by those cars, houses and buildings below me, but I could drop them something they needed - prayer.

 I began to pray for the person driving that particular car. I prayed for the people that lived in the house with the brown roof. I prayed for the people working in that office building. I didn't know their spiritual condition, but I knew God did. I prayed that if they were believers, their faith would be strengthened. I prayed they would live in the power of the Holy Spirit and have opportunities to share Christ with others. I prayed that if they were not believers, then the Spirit of God would be at work in their hearts and minds. That He would draw them to Himself and place them in the paths of other believers that would share the Gospel - the Good News with them. As we left the populated areas I saw the roads below. I prayed for the people that would be driving on that road. I was reminded that broad is the road that leads to destruction. I prayed they would be moved by the Spirit to trust in the Lord Jesus and His finished work on the cross at Calvary. I prayed they would take the narrow way. I saw semi-tractor trailers hauling all sorts of goods. I thought of those men and women that keep the economy moving. I prayed that if they were Christians they would take the message of Christ's sacrifice, love and forgiveness with them. I prayed that as other truckers got saved that they too would spread the Good News.

I saw crossroads below and I thought of the people that would come to those crossroads and I prayed that in the crossroads of life they would make the right choices and turn in the right direction. I saw forks in the roads and again I thought of the decisions these people would have to make and I prayed that they would make decisions in keeping with the perfect will of God. I saw the meandering rivers and streams and was reminded of those that are meandering aimlessly through life and I prayed that they would find purpose and meaning through faith in Jesus. I saw tennis courts and thought of people bouncing from one thing to the next, looking for rest but finding none. I prayed that they would turn to the Lord who said, "Come to me you who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest". I saw the white snow covered fields and I thought of the fruitful fields that were white unto harvest that Jesus talked to His disciples about. I prayed that many in the area would hear the Word of God and respond favorably. I thought of how forgiveness through faith in Christ can take the darkest sin and clean it whiter than the snow. I saw the billowy white clouds and thought of the angelic messengers that told the disciples that Jesus would one day return in the clouds just as they had seen Him go at the ascension. His return may not be very far off and so many still need to hear the Gospel message.

    As we descended into the clouds and my vision was obscured my thoughts went to the pilot and how he had to read his instruments and stay in contact with the tower to stay on course. I was reminded how God sometimes takes us through places where we cannot see far ahead to know where we are going, but we can read His word for guidance and stay in touch with Him to stay on course. As we came closer to the ground we broke through the clouds and it was clear again. I thought of how we only see things darkly as through a glass, but someday we will see our Savior clearly - face to face. I saw large fancy estates and thought about when Jesus said it is harder for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God than for a camel to go through the eye of a needle. Then I remembered He also said, "With God, all things are possible." And I prayed for the wealthy that they too might realize their need to place their trust in the Lord and not the things of this world. Just a short time later we passed over some mobile homes. I prayed for those people as well, knowing God is no respecter of persons loving each one enough to send His Son to die for them. The flight seemed to be over quickly. I felt good having spent much of the time in prayer. I saw a map showing all the places that one airline flew to. The flight paths crisscrossed the states and went to several other countries as well. I remembered a radio program I listened to that always included this reminder - "God is still on the throne, and prayer changes things". I thought how great it would be if Christians traveling from place to place prayed for those in their flight path. I don't know about you, but the next time I fly somewhere, I think I'll ask for a window seat.

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