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The plane filled up quickly, all seat belts fastened, electronic devices off, and runway clear. Up, up, up into the almost clear, blue sky the plane climbs. You look out the passenger window and watch the city you just left become miniature below, and finally disappear beneath the gentle plateau of clouds beneath the plane. Sighing in relief, you tilt your seat back a notch, pull out your Kindle, and settle in for the three hour flight.

About half an hour into the trip, while you are enjoying a soft drink, and the third chapter of your book, the plane suddenly lurches and drops altitude in a pocket of air! Sharp and breath-taking. Then a shimmy sideways, then the “ding” of the speaker, “This is your pilot. Well, folks, we are encountering unexpected turbulence for the next half hour. Please stay return to your seat and fasten your seat belt!”

More turbulence! No!

When I was pondering the hard things that so many people are going through right now, things that were unexpected, I heard the word “turbulence” in my heart. That is when I pictured the familiar scene above. That unexplained dip, that breathtaking drop, that shimmy out of peace that the weather, the news, the times have been bringing to most of us, seems as scary as being up in the sky, at the mercy of hidden air pockets…

But then I heard a wonderful verse from the Bible book of Deuteronomy, “Underneath are the everlasting arms.” Wow. I read the first part of that verse, after I found it: “The eternal God is your refuge and dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms.” (Deut. 33:27)

The hard times end. Winter will end too, whether it is the real season that has been so hard this year, or the winter of our individual circumstances. Spring will literally come, and our “plane “ will land. And sighs of relief will come – with joy.

Okay, I am writing this as I look out the window of my kitchen on the two feet of snow that came blasting into Vermont, and my city, beginning Wednesday morning, causing school to be cancelled, work to come to a stop, and cars to get stuck in drifts. Just the day before, it had been almost 60 outside and I had been rejoicing in the warmth. Turbulent weather, and a messy clean-up, but there is calm now, and I know I just have this time to look back on, from a better perspective. God Bless you in your times and struggles, and may He pull you close in His everlasting, ever-loving arms.

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