The thick gray clouds matched my mood last Tuesday morning. I confess that I was weary. We had been traveling for the past two weeks and still had a rental car return, baggage check-in, security screening, airport food and two flights ahead of us before we’d finally be back home. Our suitcases bulged with dirty laundry.
I was feeling anxious for two reasons. Our youngest daughter (the one who is pregnant with her 8th child) had texted that she was at the doctor on a monitor because of contractions that wouldn’t stop, and she still has three more months to go in this pregnancy. I was uneasy about being so far away and having to put my phone on airplane mode. And, I knew that the day after we got back, we would still be involved in intense house searching because the closing date for selling our present house continues to loom nearer and nearer.
And, my heart has been heavy because of the death of a dear family member last weekend.
Have you ever had days like that? “The stuff of life” tugged, ready to topple me at the first opportunity.
But, then, we finally boarded our plane, settled in our seats, took out some reading material and got comfortable (always a relative term for those of us who don’t get to fly First Class). The plane took off and began it’s ascent through those same thick gray clouds that had been so prominent on our drive to the airport.
After a few minutes, I looked out the window and took in an involuntary gasp of air. There it was for one last look. The top of Mount Rainier towered above the clouds in its snow-covered splendor. I was in awe.
With an elevation of 14,411 feet, Rainier is the tallest mountain in the state of Washington but only ranks 21st in the list of “25 Highest Mountains in the World.” A week earlier, we saw Denali (formerly known as Mount McKinley) which is the 3rd tallest and has an elevation of 20,320, but this stunning sight was above the clouds and appeared from my seat on the plane. It was as if God chose that moment to remind me ONCE AGAIN that He is in charge of the universe and can certainly handle the details of my life. God can see through the clouds. He knows where the top is at all times. Whether I am in the depths (emotionally) or the heights (literally from an airplane), He is there, and He knows. I’ll never be able to figure out HOW He does it. Neither could Job. The Book of Job addresses this very dilemma in chapter 37.
Job 37:14-22 (New American Standard Version)
14 “Listen to this, O Job,
Stand and consider the wonders of God.
15 “Do you know how God establishes them,
And makes the lightning of His cloud to shine?
16 “Do you know about the layers of the thick clouds,
The wonders of one perfect in knowledge,
17 You whose garments are hot,
When the land is still because of the south wind?
18 “Can you, with Him, spread out the skies,
Strong as a molten mirror?
19 “Teach us what we shall say to Him;
We cannot arrange our case because of darkness.
20 “Shall it be told Him that I would speak?
Or should a man say that he would be swallowed up?
21 “Now men do not see the light which is bright in the skies;
But the wind has passed and cleared them.
22 “Out of the north comes golden splendor;
Around God is awesome majesty.
And, of course, the passage I’m more familiar with in Romans 8:38-39 (King James Version)
38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Now for a short P.S.: 1) Daughter Julie was sent home by late afternoon with a prescription, and it appears that this pregnancy crisis has been averted. 2) The washing machine stopped just a little while ago with the last load. 3) My cousin’s memorial service will be held on July 7th, so I’ll be able to participate with my family. 4) We still haven’t made the final decision about our next home, but we have ruled out a lot of places. That’s good, right?
I needed the visual reminder of God’s power and His love. Maybe the photo will help to remind you, too.