What Does My Soul Hold on To?
Recently I had an experience during a flight that left a deep impact on me. I was on a plane from Seattle to LA. A few minutes before we landed, we hit the worst turbulence I’ve ever experienced. It was terrifying. I’ve been on some crazy flights, but this turbulence was next level. The plane dropped probably a hundred feet instantly, then started bouncing all over the place. Drinks were spilling, people were screaming, and even the flight attendants were panicking.
The guy next to me was clearly a high-powered executive. He had the suit, the laptop, and the attitude. Before we had even taken off, he was already typing furiously, and the way he looked at me made it clear he wasn’t impressed with my ripped jeans and hoodie.
But in a matter of seconds, that executive went from being in control and aloof to whimpering like a frightened poodle. I could see his knuckles turning white around his armrests. His cries got louder with each jolt and drop.
I can’t criticize him: we were all scared. But someone told me once that no plane has ever gone down due to turbulence, and I guess I believed him. Plus, the turbulence hit while I was studying for a message, and I was really getting a lot out of my study session. I was having a genuine moment with God. So for maybe the only time in my life, I was the emotionally stable person in the situation. Eventually we landed safely, and the passengers broke into spontaneous applause.
I thought about that experience for days afterward. There is nothing like absolute helplessness to make you evaluate what your soul holds on to and where you get your sense of security.
The logical way to find security is to be more in control. It’s to plan for every contingency and provide for every possibility. But that logic leads us astray. Work or plans aren’t bad, of course, but self-based security is ultimately an illusion.
Why was I at peace on that flight? What helped my soul trust and relax even when the circumstances around me were terrifying? Simply this: I knew that God was in control of my soul. I knew my life was in his hands. My soul could hold fast to him no matter what external turbulence or craziness I was facing.
In the ancient writings of Isaiah, God told Israel: “Only in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved. In quietness and confidence is your strength” (Isaiah 30:15 NLT).
Our souls find help not in control, but in turning to God; not in outward guarantees, but in inward trust. Our hope is in God. We access true rest, salvation, and strength by allowing our souls to hold on to him.
That doesn’t mean our thoughts and emotions will never fluctuate. They will. I may never be the emotionally stable person in the situation again. But despite outward turbulence, our souls can be secure. Our souls find help and strength in God.
How do you feel or react when you are out of control in an area of your life?
How easy is it for you to trust God? Are there some areas that are harder than others?
Why does trusting that God is in control ultimately bring more peace to your soul than trying to be in control yourself?