“Violent disorder or commotion; haphazard or irregular motion in the atmosphere; a state of agitation or tumult; any disturbance from the ordinary; sudden upheaval from normal, peaceful, forward motion in the air; a bumpy ride” according to dictionary definition.
During my flights to and fro around the world I've often encountered turbulence as a physical phenomenon due to inclement weather. Or a stomach jerking upset from a sudden drop in elevation on an otherwise calm, sunny day. Whatever the cause, the warning light comes on and over the loud speaker the pilot instructs us to quickly return to our seats and fasten our seat belts. If the turbulence is thought to perhaps be severe or long lasting, passengers are warned to be ready to put on their oxygen masks.
In our daily lives as Christians we should be realistic and anticipate turbulence. Life isn't a picnic in the park or a bed of roses. We don't go through life merrily, merrily enjoying our comfort zone. Nor do we live in a protective bubble. Contrary to the popular song, “Oh, what a beautiful morning! Oh, what a beautiful day! I have a wonderful feeling everything's goin' my way.” Likely it is not. “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you” (1 Peter 4:12). “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials” (James 1:2). The latter verse is a pretty big order—all joy?
Our turbulence may be sudden or chronic, a health disorder “out of the blue,” or an unexpected disruption in a relationship, the loss of a loved one through death, a traumatic job loss or business reversal—any number of causes. Turbulence, not status quo or smooth sailing, is the norm for us while living in this fallen world and in our mortal “earth suits.” Presently I'm praying for 28 friends and relatives who are experiencing primarily serious health issue turbulence and have specifically asked for my prayers. This is not unusual but on-going; only the names of the people change.
What to do in times of turbulence? Sit tight, fear not, remain steadfast and unmovable. Put on our seat belt of faith. Grab and put on our oxygen mask of trust in God's goodness and plan for our lives. Take a deep breath and pray until the “All clear” light goes on again. Rely totally on God to pilot us safely through our turbulence of life, whatever it may be. Great is His faithfulness!
“The Lord will be a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. And those who know Thy name will put their trust in Thee; For Thou, O Lord, hast not forsaken those who seek Thee” (Psalm 9:9,10).