“These instructions are not empty words – they are your life!” – Deuteronomy 32:47, NLT
I gazed longingly out the airplane window. My mission trip to El Salvador had been a wonderful, life-changing experience, but I was ready to be home. I missed my husband and daughters. I wanted the comfort of my own bed and was eager to get back into my daily routine.
As we approached the outskirts of Springfield, a field below caught my attention, not that there was anything special about it, but because I’d seen it before…about 15 minutes earlier. My heart sank. We weren’t preparing for landing. We were going in circles.
The plane continued to hover as the pilot waited for conditions to improve. After nearly an hour, he announced that we might divert to a nearby airport to refuel before attempting another landing. Tears filled my eyes. After traveling for two days, I was physically exhausted and emotionally drained. I couldn’t believe that we had come this far only to be rerouted. My destination was within reach, but I couldn’t get there. Circumstances beyond my control were keeping me from the joy of being with my family again.
I bowed my head and prayed: “God, You’re in charge of the weather. Please clear the skies so we can land.” Shortly after I finished, I heard the pilot’s voice on the intercom. I took a deep breath and waited for the verdict. As soon as he announced his plan, passengers cheered and applauded. A huge wave of relief swept over me, and I said, “Praise the Lord!” The sound of the landing gear being engaged was like sweet music to my ears. Within minutes, I was on the ground. I’d finally made it home.
Every believer in the Lord Jesus Christ should be living an extraordinary life – one that’s full of joy, packed with adventure, and characterized by victory. However, many Christians often get stuck in a holding pattern, much like I was that day on that plane. No matter how hard they try, God still seems far away. A deeper connection with their Creator eludes them. Frustrated, they wonder what they’re missing, and their motivation for spiritual growth wanes. Instead of moving forward in their relationship with the Lord, they end up going in circles, chasing contentment in things that don’t satisfy.
The missing ingredient, in most cases, is the Word of God, or, should I say, the commitment to read it on a regular basis. The pages of Scripture are not just nice stories for our occasional entertainment. As Deuteronomy 32:47 says, “They are your life!”
If you want to grow closer to God this year, decide right now to make his Word a priority. Be in the Word every day. By continually reading and meditating on truth, you will develop a greater understanding of who God is and experience the abundant life He has for you.