Three weeks ago, my wife and I were eagerly looking forward to our trip to Germany to visit family. We were eating breakfast on the morning of March 22 when news sources reported the three coordinated ISIS bombings in Brussels, Belgium, killing 32 and injuring over 300. We looked at each other with some concern. Hmm, not a good time to be visiting Europe, we thought. But the reality is it’s relatively much more dangerous to walk the streets of Detroit, Chicago, and New York than any city in Europe.
On April 1st, we finally boarded the plane for our transatlantic flight from Newark, New Jersey to Frankfurt, Germany. At a cruising speed of around 500 mph, it takes a large, commercial passenger jet about 8 hours to travel the 4000 mile distance. The normal altitude for transatlantic flights is between 6 and 7 miles above the Earth. There’s very little material between the passengers and the -66 F temperature outside the plane’s cabin.
My wife and I aren’t exactly frequent fliers so plane rides are still a little bit unnerving, especially while traveling through patches of turbulence. Of course, thousands of airplanes take off every day around the world with reports of accidents being very rare. The chances of dying in a commercial plane crash are said to be around 1 in 53,000,000, much better odds than driving your car to work every day. But sitting in a speeding tin can, miles above the ground, and rocked by changing air currents, can make one feel especially vulnerable. Life is such a fragile gift. It could end in a split second, whether while driving to work, riding in a plane, or walking through a train station in a European city.
While sitting in that airplane seat, I thought often about my Shepherd. My life is His. I am in His hands. Always. He puts my fears and worries in perspective. To leave this Earth is to be present with Him.
Yesterday, I was studying Psalm 103, one of my favorites, and read the following verses:
“As a father pities his children,
So the Lord pities those who fear Him.
For He knows our frame;
He remembers that we are dust.
As for man, his days are like grass;
As a flower of the field, so he flourishes.
For the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
And its place remembers it no more.
But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting
On those who fear Him.” – verses 13-17
Within our own personal universes we can’t conceive of our own deaths. We can’t imagine a world without us. But this life is fleeting. Take the opportunity to accept Jesus Christ as your Savior, today. Don’t wait until tomorrow. None of us know what may transpire in the course of a single, unpredictable day. Church membership won’t save you. Trying to obey the Ten Commandments or trying to be a good person won’t save you. Only accepting Jesus as your Savior will save you.
“And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.” – 1 John 5:11-12