FEAR OF FLYING
Katrina and I have just come back from a lovely week in southern Spain. The temperatures ranged from 27 to 31 degrees. This was all the more welcome as we had left Gatwick in the cold, wind and rain. For as long as I can remember, I have been frightened of heights and flying, especially at take-off and landing. I sit away from the window so I can’t see how high we are. This holiday was my first time flying since being born again. And it was the first time I wasn’t frightened and the first time I enjoyed flying and looking out of the window at the amazing views below. When I told my daughter Sophie about it, she asked if it was because I was closer to God. This was a wonderful idea, but it wasn’t that. I can feel close to God wherever I am. There were three other reasons I wasn’t afraid.
Firstly, I had prayed beforehand to keep us safe and for me to cope with the flight. Secondly, I remembered Paul’s words in Philippians 1: 21 “To live is Christ and to die is gain.” Thirdly, and most importantly, I have recently been praying, asking God to reveal to me my ministry in the Church. In the last few months I have so many prayers answered, I knew that, at the right time, this prayer would also be answered. So, like Paul in Acts 23:11 when he knew he wasn’t going to die as he knew he was going to Rome, I too knew that I wasn’t going to die as I my ministry had not yet been revealed. So, I sat back and enjoyed the flight.
GRACE AND GRAHAM
When we went into our apartment for the week, one of the first things I noticed was a picture hanging on the wall with the Chinese Character for the word GRACE at the top. Seeing this made us sure that the apartment was the right one for us. That same day I read Graham’s latest blog post about grace. I read about how we are vessels of grace and about how grace is completely undeserved. I was reminded of the wonderful message of grace that I have learned at PEFC. The acronym of grace in the blog (God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense) struck a chord
PUZZLE BY THE POOL
During the week, we spent some time revisiting places we love from previous years, exploring some new places and spent some time by the pool. One day I was sitting by the pool with my puzzle book. I was working on a Diamond 25 puzzle. This is a logic puzzle with a mathematical basis. As I was attempting to solve the problem, I realised that I was unable to solve it through logic alone. I had to take a “leap of faith” and just try some combinations. This made me think of the joy to be had by taking a leap of faith and following Jesus.
BRAVE ON THE BRIDGE
Encouraged by my newly lost fear of flying, Katrina suggested that we visit Ronda, which has a famous 120-metre-high bridge, which links the old town and the new town. Katrina hadn’t suggested Ronda as she knew I wouldn’t like the height. The bridge is called the Puente Nuevo (New Bridge), even though it was built in 1793. We drove up a winding mountain road, reaching heights of over 1100 metres above sea level before reaching Ronda. I found I was able to look down from the bridge without any feelings of vertigo or fear.
HAPPY TO HELP
During the holiday, one of the things I prayed for was that when I encountered someone in need of assistance, I would be able to help them. On the plane home, we found ourselves sitting next to a lady on her own who, the previous day, had injured her leg and broken her collar bone in a cycling accident. On the journey, I was able to help her with her drink and her bag and chat to her to take her mind of her pain. At Gatwick we were able to help her with her luggage and get her to the point where she was being picked up by her son.
Thank you God for a wonderful holiday of sun, fun and answered prayers.
Can I get an Amen?
Matt Ebeling October 2019