During the holidays my family traveled to London, England, for a vacation. The trip was an analogy of a much more important journey each of us is on--fulfilling God's plan for his or her life.
For one thing, the preparation was longer than the journey itself. We prepared for months, checking flight times and prices and making certain all our paperwork was in order.
Some of the preparation was tedious and time-consuming. How true this is in the spiritual realm as well! In fact, the season of preparation God requires of us often drags out so long we get discouraged because we are eager to be going somewhere.
But if all the "equipment" isn't in place and in the right condition, we won't make it to the end of the journey. Jesus prepared until He was 30 years old for a mission that lasted only three years.
For another thing, once we had made all the preparations, we could relax. All we had to do was get on the plane and trust the expertise of those in charge. Everything we needed was provided for us.
It is this way on our spiritual journey, too. When we are walking in purpose, God will do through us all He intends and provide the means for us to accomplish His will.
Often, however, we resist God's mandate to relinquish our concerns and trust Him, and we end up carrying a burden we were never meant to bear. The result is that we feel stressed when God intended for us to have peace and rest. Instead, we must acknowledge our inability to fulfill His plan on our own and declare our reliance on Him.
Finally, on the flight there was unexpected turbulence. It was uncomfortable and in some people stirred feelings of fear and the disturbing thought that we might not make it to our destination.
But I knew the plane had been through inclement weather many times and had arrived safely. The key, in an airplane as in your journey with God, is to stay in your place and rest in the fact that those who know better than you are in control. If you get out of your seat to walk around, you may be hurt, and if you try to bail out, you will die.
No matter how securely anchored you are, you will still experience some storms. But remember that everything that happens to you on the journey is either part of God's plan or occurs with His permission.
He is the one in control. And as Paul points out, hardships sometimes occur "that we might not rely on ourselves but on God" (2 Cor. 1:9).
God will often require us to do things that are beyond our natural ability. The women Mimi Haddad writes about in "Brave-Hearted Women" found this to be true. But as the stories of their lives clearly demonstrate, there are no limits to what you can accomplish when you are doing what God ordained for you to do--if you rely totally on Him.
For the month of August we are celebrating the 40th anniversary of Charisma. Join us for giveaways each weekday, pages from our past, and more. We're including an anniversary special where you can get 40 issues of Charisma for only $40!