Sunday, March 14, 2010
This is from my devotional by Max Lucado I read this morning.
Only One Thing is Necessary
Here is the scene: You and I and a half-dozen other folks are flying across the country in a chartered plane. All of a sudden the engine bursts into flames, and the pilot rushes out of the cockpit.
"We're going to crash!" he yells. "We've got to bail out!"
Good thing he knows where the parachutes are because we don't. He passes them out, gives us a few pointers, and we stand in line as he throws open the door. The first passenger steps up to the door and shouts over the wind, "Could I make a request?"
"Sure, what is it?"
"Any way I could get a pink parachute?"
The pilot shakes his head in disbelief. "Isn't it enough that I gave you a parachute at all?" And so the first passenger jumps.
The second steps to the door. "I'm wondering if there is any way you could ensure that I won't get nauseated during the fall?"
"No, but I can ensure that you will have a parachute for the fall."
Each of us comes with a request and receives a parachute.
"Please, captain," says one, "I am afraid of heights. Would you remove my fear?"
"No," he replies, "but I'll give you a parachute."
Another pleads for a different strategy, "Couldn't you change the plans? Let's crash with the plane. We might survive."
The pilot smiles and says, "You don't know what you are asking" and gently shoves the fellow out the door. One passenger wants some goggles, another wants boots, another wants to wait until the plane is closer to the ground.
"You people don't understand," the pilot shouts as he "helps" us, one by one. "I've given you a parachute; that is enough."
Only one item is necessary for the jump, and he provides it. He places the strategic tool in our hands. The gift is adequate. But are we content? No. We are restless, anxious, even demanding.
Too crazy to be possible? Maybe in a plane with pilots and parachutes, but on earth with people and grace? God hears thousands of appeals per second. Some are legitimate. We, too, ask God to remove the fear or change the plans. He usually answers with a gentle shove that leaves us airborne and suspended by his grace.
Truth be known, some of us discover we have a fear of heights when we are dangling above precarious circumstances - suspended by his grace alone. We'd rather have our feet firmly planted on the ground. We want certainty and facts. We feel a need to know all is going to work out the way we planned. In fact, if we can't be sure of the outcome of our problems, we'd rather not have them at all. Like Paul, we ask God to please make them disappear.
What does the illustration about the pilot and the parachutes tell you about the sufficiency of God's grace during trials?
"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." 2 Corinthians 12:9
During this time of waiting to find out where Derek gets into residency and where we will be living for potentially the rest of our lives, this really stood out to me this morning. I want to remember to lean on Jesus during this time and reflect on His grace instead of begging Him to make the day come faster. I know I am growing and learning things along the way and that this path is important. I don't want to anxiously await and only focus on days ahead but to enjoy the journey along the way and see what else God has in store for me. It is very hard not to feel impatient right now but I am trying very hard to focus on God's grace being sufficient for me in everything and every area of life. He is teaching me to be content in every situation and that "His grace is enough."