Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Little Flashing White Light

Hello all. I'm sorry that it's been over a week since my last post. In the past seven days I've been from Phoenix to St. Louis, back to Phoenix, to Las Vegas and back to Phoenix again. God brought much encouragement through the different conversations that we had in each location.

The time in St. Louis was well spent meeting with potential ministry partners, catching up with a couple of dear friends, and spending time in prayer with my partner, Eric Phillips. Through my time in prayer over the last week I've come to realize something about raising funds for a mission work like this one. Jesus told his disciples to see that the fields are ripe for harvest. He then told them to pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out workers. What I've come to realize through meditation on that scripture is that fundraising actually happens in prayer. Praying to our Lord to send out workers into the harvest is fundraising at its most basic level for those who have already received the call from him to be sent out. I know that there is more involved, but it is at least that.

I want to tell you about the little flashing white light. On my return flight from St. Louis I boarded the plane and greeted the co-pilot. I asked him if there was any severe weather over the Midwest and he told me that there was. I then questioned to see if we would be flying around it as I did on my last flight from Nashville to Denver via south Dallas. He responded, "Nope. We're going straight through it." "OK," I thought, "I'm sure he knows what he's talking about."

The flight attendants were shuffling up and down the isle very shortly after take-off, making an obvious effort to complete the beverage and snack service in quick fashion. One hour into the flight I realized why. We were on top of several storms and the captain called for all passengers and crew to be in their seats. In just a few more minutes our plane was shaking more than anything I've ever experienced. A couple of times I tried to put my drink back down on the tray, but the sudden drop in elevation kept me from finding the tray with my cup. Again, another near death experience for me this month. I hated the feelings in my stomach. I felt like our plane would break apart at any minute. Those of you who have had these kind of flights know what I'm talking about. Outside I could see nothing. Clouds were thick and the sky was pitch black. All I could see out my window was the little flashing white light that perches over the end of each wing. "As long as I can see that light I'm fine," I said to myself. "That means there is still a wing between me and it."

As my fear mounted, though, I didn't want to look at the light for the fear of not seeing it blink the next time. I was praying earnestly for God to be merciful to us in that plane. I just wanted to be back on the ground, in safety. God was merciful; we did land safely after nearly two hours of turbulence.

Then came the news last evening of an Airbus in Brazil that did touch the ground after a flight in a storm, but failed to stop before plowing into a fuel station, igniting a terrible explosion, and ending in the death of more than 180 people. Even some pedestrians who weren't on the plane, who had been on the ground all the while, were killed.

Here is my thought. I continue to think that my security is based on my circumstances. I struggle to trust that I am just as secure in our Lord whether I'm 34,000 ft. in the air or on the ground. He is my shelter, not my perceived security on the ground. I needed this reminder; perhaps you did too.

Please keep us in your prayers, and feel free to email any requests for prayer to us.


Jim Huster said...

Nice blog. Got you locked in as one of my favorites. Praying for Vegas!

Stephen Leung said...

Phil, that's quite a story. If you were on facebook, I'd "chuck" this book at you: - I "chucked" it at C.D. after I ran into her and she said T.R. and her might indeed do an internship with you next summer. We keep you in our prayers.

Stephen Leung said...

That ISBN should read: 0310231973.

Me and Angie

Me and Angie
December 2010