The other day I heard a woman (who in the past week had flown 30 hours) make a comment that caught my attention. She said, “When you hit turbulence in an airplane, it’s interesting to watch how the different passengers respond to it, especially when it’s really bad turbulence.” First, she noted, there are people who panic. The tension on their face is noticeable—they’re white-knuckled, gripping their armrests, afraid that the plane might go down. Then, she continued, there is a second group of people, those who turn inward—they close their eyes, they sing songs, anything to calm themselves. But, she added, there is a third category of people who respond in a very different way when the plane hits terrible turbulence—they turn and comfort others next to them.
As I heard this, the thought hit me that this is true for life as well. When you encounter turbulence, what’s your response? So often I congratulate myself when I don’t panic, when I remain calm in a crisis. But the Lord calls us to so much more. He wants us to go beyond ourselves, to see people in need that we can minister to in the midst of turbulence. It’s what His word says, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God”(2 Corinthians 1:3-4). May the Lord open our eyes to the opportunities around us to be ambassadors of His grace, ministering His love to those in need.