Turbulence on an airplane can be a scary thing. You’re not in control. Fear takes over. And you have no idea what is coming next.
On a recent flight to Italy for a mission trip, we flew through a pretty rough storm. I could feel the tension on the plane and I became very anxious. While trying to exit the tiny plane bathroom after being thrown around due to the turbulence, the man in the bathroom across from me opened his door at the same time and slammed my thumb in my door. I was very dramatic because IT REALLY HURT but no one could hear me over the babies screaming and people playing games on their phones on loud.
It was chaos and I was having a bit of a meltdown. Once I sat down, I started to pray and journal and just ask God to calm me. My friend Tom who was sitting behind me is a pilot and said the airplane probably couldn’t go above or below the storm because other planes were in the way, so we had to go through it.
As I prayed and wrote in my journal, God said, “You have to go through this storm. I can’t pull you out right now, but I promise I will soon.” And just as I calmed down, the plane jerked and the woman beside me grabbed me with her trembling hand. I held her hand tight and prayed with her, tears everywhere. We got through the storm together.
She spoke zero English and I can say about three words in Italian. But we connected over fear and communicated with love. And maybe God wanted me to go through the storm so He could show me that an airplane can be a mission field and so can every other place we enter. My friend and I exchanged numbers, she kissed my cheeks the way Italians do, and she gave me my own rosary.
God is universal. He tears down barriers and unifies us all. He allows us to weather storms together. No language or religious belief can separate His children. We are all on this flight together, praying through the turbulence and connecting over His love.
Our mission trip leader shared Colossians 3:15 to remind us that peace rules our hearts, no matter what goes on around us. The world may bring chaos, but our Jesus brings peace. And sometimes He brings it in the trembling hand next to yours.