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Stress Tests

October 24, 2011

I live near a small, grass air strip.  From my front yard we can watch planes land and take off from the air strip.  There is a man in my church that has an airplane at that field and he has taken my boys up in his plane.  He always jokes with me because he knows there is no way this side of heaven he will get me in a small aircraft.  I don’t fly, even commercially, unless I am made to fly.  I would rather drive 23 hours than make a 3 hour flight.  My fear isn’t so much of flying, I don’t mind the flying part, my fear is that the wing will tear off and I will have to think about what is coming for the next 2-3 miles as we spiral toward a fiery grave.

The funny thing is you can throw all the research at me about how it’s statistically safer to fly than to drive.  You can tell me that the airplane has gone through stress tests, barrel rolls, engine cuts and the pilots have countless hours of training.  The reality of the matter is none of those things bring me comfort.  The facts don’t help me feel any better about my situation.  They certainly don’t keep me from staring at the rivets where the wing meets the plane!

You can argue that I am not trusting God and I can argue back that flying is testing God!  The reality of the situation is I don’t like to fly.  The only thing that really helps in times of stress, whether it’s something as goofy as stressing over flying, or whether it’s something that carries a far heavier validity like terminal illness or job loss, or everything in between is the Word of God.

1 Peter 5:6-7 says “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time, cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you.”  The word for cast is a participle, it reaches back to the main verb of the passage “Humble yourselves”.  You can’t humble yourself when you are trying to remedy your anxiety apart from God.  If you can’t cast your cares on God, you are ultimately saying that you can take care of yourself…you don’t need God, that is not humility.

As leaders we will have times when we are tasked with helping someone through a tough time.  We will have to show them, to show them, to show them, God cares.  God is sufficient to handle our anxieties, we are not.  We have to help people realize this truth, it’s the only thing that brings comfort when the wings fall off!

Lead with Love,


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