Monday, September 1, 2008

Psalm 57:1

"Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me, for in you my soul takes refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed."
Psalm 57:1b
Yesterday something happened that I have to talk about. It was one of those life changing things that happen every now and then.
After boarding the plane yesterday in Vancouver headed for Salt Lake City and then eventually Durango I opened my Bible to Psalm 57.

Let me back up a few years. I have mentioned that I once lived in tremendous fear. It is only by the grace of God that I am healed. The healing started back in 1985 and was profound in my life. Emotional pain (for me at least) is far greater than physical pain. To be set free from years of emotional pain was a miracle. Over the years God's healing continued as I was eventually able to partake in things that had once, because of my overwhelming fear, been off-limits. Galatians 5:1 was my theme song - "It was for freedom that Christ set me free, therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to this yoke of slavery." I had definitely been a slave to fear. Little by little I stepped out and did more and more things.....each time God was faithful. As I stepped out, my life changed dramatically.

Flying had been an area of fear and so I asked the Lord for a specific verse one time, many years ago, that I could take to the bank each time I flew. He directed me immediately to Psalm 57:10. It filled my heart with total peace - "His faithfulness reaches to the sky."

From that day on , each and every time I have flown I open my Bible on my lap to Psalm 57:10 and pray and read that verse...it fills me with peace each time.

Yesterday though when I boarded the plane I opened my Bible and my eyes fell on Psalm 57:1. It said, "Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me,for in you my soul takes refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed." Immediately I felt strongly that the Lord was speaking to me. I prayed silently, "What are you trying to tell me?" He impressed on my heart that this trip was going to be a disaster, but I would find refuge in His wings. **gulp** I prayed that He would show me more, but He didn't.

I continued reading my Bible and the flight took off. I eventually closed up my Bible and started working on returning some emails that I would send from home. The flight was pretty bumpy so far and then....About 30 minutes from landing it started to rapidly get very, very bumpy. They came on and said that there were thunderstorms in the area and that the flight attendants needed to sit down and that we would be landing in about 30 minutes. Immediately the plane started to pitch back and forth. I have been on some bumpy flights but this was now starting to make anything I had been on before feel like cotton candy.

I put my computer away and got my Bible back out. I turned back to Psalm 57 and again my eyes turned to verse 1. In my spirit I knew that I knew that I knew that He was telling me that I should take refuge in his wings, until the disaster had passed. I would love to tell you that I had tremendous peace, but it wasn't quite like complete and total peace. I started to pray like crazy. I prayed that the pilot would have God's wisdom, that the control tower would be accurate in their calls and that we would be completely protected. All the while the plane was pitching side to side and front to back and it was ominously silent. Then hail started hitting the plane and the wind must have really picked up. The plane now started bouncing front to back and side to side.

Did I mention that I hate amusement park rides? I don't even like Merry go Rounds!! About this time I put my hand over my mouth and I started to whisper outloud prayers....and started quoting Psalm 57:1 over and over. I tried to picture myself hiding in God's wings.....and I remembered being just a little girl who would lay in my bed at night saying Psalm 91:4 which says "He shall cover thee with his feathers" when things were especially painful at home. I had always loved the idea of hiding under His feathers under His wings....as I sat on the plan I tried to picture myself safe and warm His feathers tucked inside His wings. I felt much more peaceful. I confess that I was not a champion of peace the entire time, but I am still very much a human being.

I started thanking the Lord for warning me about this impending danger and that this disaster would pass. Soon the plane started to pitch even more. It literally was going nuts and at any moment I expected us to flip upside down and smash to the ground. We heard the landing gear come down, but truly, I couldn't figure how the pilot would land it with it pitching like it was. We could not see, due to the clouds and rain/hail how close we were to the ground, but it appeared that we were about to land and all of a sudden it pitched so far down and up and dropped that I felt like I was on "Drop Zone"....and then the nose pointed up and we took off again, bouncing wildly. My heart was racing as I'm sure most others was too. Many people cried out, "Oh my God!" It was like a wild horse and I was praying with fury. I began to pray that my family and friends, who knew I was flying, would be reminded by God to pray!! Then I changed my prayer: Lord impress on people's hearts to pray right now!!

About 5 minutes later the pilot came on and said that we had hit a wind sheer and were going to head to the south and come back and try to land it from the south side...he finished by saying that we should be on the ground in about 15 minutes. Inside my heart I felt that this was not going to be just 15 minutes and I could not imagine how it was going to end. I wondered if we had enough fuel on the plane to head to another airport that had better weather?

The plane continued to pitch back and forth: front to back and side to side. No one was saying a word. I thanked the Lord even more for giving me a heads up that there would be a problem and I told Him that I wanted to "get this right". I wanted to have perfect peace in the midst of this real life disaster. My heart filled with peace, but my hands were shaking like crazy. I prayed outloud and rebuked (quietly) the storm, "in Jesus name". The pitching continued for about 15 minutes and we heard the landing gear come down again. But again, the plane acted more like a bucking bronco and we took off again.

I began to ask the Lord again what exactly He had meant...and I wondered if it meant that we would crash, but I would survive. Silly as it sounds when that thought came to mind my first thought was, "Horse kick? Bike accident? Plane crash? UGH! I don't want to hurt again!" I was convinced that I would live, but what exactly that looked like I had no clue.

At this point I couldn't think of what else to pray and I wondered if anyone on the ground was praying?? I decided I had to do something. Maybe a host of people praying would calm the storm. I wondered what to do? I felt like I needed prayer support - NOW! I dug my cell phone out of my pocket and opened my jacket to tuck it inside..... I am a happy texter and can do it quite quickly.....but I am not used to my hand shaking like a leaf!! I put in Dw's number and Emma and Graham's (just in case Dw wasn't near his cell) and then I scrolled to three friends who I know are prayer warriors! I could hardly think, but this is what came out: "Urgent serious weather. Plane has tried twice to land pls pray now. Trying to have peace. Bouncing around the sky." I pressed send and quickly turned my phone off. I knew that of the six people who I sent it to, that someone had to have read it and would join me in prayer.
Little did I know that on the ground Dw had gotten the text and at that moment there were precious friends visiting our home who immediately joined him praying together. All 6 had gotten the text and all 6 had started praying. Of course, I didn't know any of this, but I knew people had to be praying and I did feel more peaceful.

The third time the pilot tried to land, although pitching wildly, miraculously he landed. Many people had thrown up. The plane was silent when it finally touched down, as I think many were in shock.. A few minutes later everyone cheered.

After gathering my stuff and heading to the door I saw the flight attendant that I had talked to when she was serving soft drinks much earlier in the flight. She had had a yellow ribbon on and I had asked her if she had a child in the military. She had a son in in the Navy. I told her about our Ty Ty.
So as I was leaving the plane I saw her. I said, "Please be truthful, On a scale of 1 to 10, how was that flight?" She looked me in the eye with a very sobering look and said, "I have NEVER been on a flight like that." I could tell by the look in this Flight Attendant/Military Mom's eye that she was as shaken as every one of the passengers.

I called Dw and started to cry. The emotion had been powerful. I rejoiced over and over at God's faithfulness. I was humbled that the God of the universe had taken the time to warn me of the "disaster" on the plane and that I could trust Him with it all....that I could safely hide in the shelter in His wings. He has, once again, shown me how much He wants personal relationship with us, how much He loves us and how much He desires even to warn us so that we know that He is in control and that we can trust Him with everything. How I praise His name - for He is soooo worthy of all praise, all honor and all the glory!!!

8 Simply Sweet Words:

  1. So humbled by this post....
    I am so happy to hear that in the end you landed safely

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  2. I love you Linn. I am so thankful that you are safe and that God gave you that verse to get you through. His wings are soft and perfect and safe. Praise Jesus that we have his wings to turn to. You rock girlfriend. You're my warrior hero. :-) lv, jen

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  3. Whew!
    I think my heart stopped beating for a few seconds during your story.
    Praise the Lord!

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  4. Oh Linny~ I used to follow you 'FAITHFULLY' ~ but in all honesty, I've only been popping in for a visit, here and there, and I've been TERRIBLE at keeping up our own blog since returning home with Khloe.

    But recently I have been seeking God more in my life again. I feel like I've let Him slip to the wayside amidst the busyness of life... the time I 'KNOW' in my heart that I should be drawing near even more. So tonight as I was looking through my dashboard, up came your post. I was drawn back to you, and felt an urgency to read again. I guess sometimes I felt like a number here. Not that I'm here for any self-indugence, but I've followed you for a couple of years now, and I know how many faithful followers you have, so you'd never notice I was missing, so in cutting back on my blog time, I just fell away. But this was the WRONG place to fall away from. You have always ministered deeply to my heart. You have impacted my life in ways you will never know. Your testimonies speak volumes, as does the way you lead your life and your family. You are SO real and touchable, with such a raw love for the Lord that touches me to the core.

    I think I've read this post before. But I had forgotten. Tonight, I wrote down these scriptures and read the whole thing again. I found myself gasping and rejoicing in my heart for God's faithfulness to show you through His Holy Spirit w/in you. NOW I will go back and read your more recent posts, as I know God has something in there for me, I can feel His direction. Thank you for always being so faithful to write for Him. I know I am just one of many lives you have touched, that you probably had no idea.

    Sorry for the book. I just felt compelled to let you know how much you mean to me, and how I know the Lord brought me back for such a time as this.

    Love you, my friend. <><
    ~Tanya

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  5. Just finished reading this and I was shaking while reading it. I am afraid to fly and confess it openly. I have never read this verse but thank you so much for it as we are heading back to China in a few months for our daughter and will be praying this and many others over our flight. Goodness, I am STILL shaking Linny :(

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  6. Just finished reading this and I was shaking while reading it. I am afraid to fly and confess it openly. I have never read this verse but thank you so much for it as we are heading back to China in a few months for our daughter and will be praying this and many others over our flight. Goodness, I am STILL shaking Linny :(

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  7. I must say, I feel VERY similar to TanyaLea. I understand what she means about feeling like a number. I'm not even sure if you remember who I am. I used to be on here very often and only recently I've made time to visit my favorite blogs again. I've learned that this blogging time is not just selfish time for myself, but it's another way for the Lord to speak to my heart. I have my Bible open next to me and wow is my heart beating fast! I needed this. Thank you, Linny. I'm going back to read the other two posts from this week.

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  8. Oh Linny ~ Thank you for stopping by my blog (that I haven't updated in FOREVER...feel'in a little guilty 'bout that! ;)

    But I just want you to know that you NEVER offended me in any way. I just meant that I felt like a number, because you have SO many faithful followers, so I really didn't think you'd notice my absense or be concerned that I wasn't stopping in very often anymore, and that YOU wouldn't be offended because you might not notice I was missing. That's all my friend! I LOVE you like family. You are my sister in Christ, and though miles may separate us (*just like natural family sometimes) you are ALWAYS close at heart. I feel like I still 'KNOW' you and know your heart, and coming back I still feel welcome. So I just wanted to clear that up and let you know I wasn't looking for a pity party or expecting you to have to make sure you stop in and visit my blog now. NOT AT ALL!! Please know that! You are a such a sweetheart for doing so though. That's just part of your beautiful character shining through and trying to remain at peace with all (wo)men! ;) I love ya, girl!! Goodness, I can't imagine how busy life is with such a [WONDERFULLY] big family and all! ~ I don't know how you stay so organized and still manage to keep up ministering to all of us so faithfully through your blogging.

    ...Seriously, that is EXACTLY what your blog is to me. A MINISTRY! You have done your DW and your Lord proud, my dear! I know your rewards will be waiting for you BIG TIME in Heaven one day!

    Just wanted to clear that up, and also thank you for the posts that you linked with this. They touched me to the CORE and I was writing down scriptures left and right. I was facing my own fears and spent time studying and praying after I left. They have resinated with me ever since.

    Sending BIG HUGS and love you way!!

    Love and Blessings! <><
    ~ Tanya

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It's always good to hear from bloggy friends. Bless you.