EVEN AT 20,000 FEET we had been enveloped in clouds, and as the plane descended we realized we were passing through unusual turbulence while at the same time we were surrounded by a pall of blackness. We could sense that our descent was rapid, and at times the force of the storm caused the plane to toss like a leaf.

On and on, and down and down, we went. Almost every passenger had his eyes glued to the windows; some were ill, many were acutely apprehensive.

After what seemed an age there was a momentary rift in the clouds, and below we could see land. Then all was dark again and we continued on our course. But we had seen the earth, and before long we broke out of the low-lying clouds and landed safely at our intended airport, very relieved and very thankful.

There were certain fixed elements in this experience: accurate instruments, an experienced crew, the land beneath and the airport, which had not moved.

In the realm of the spirit there are fixed elements that mean comfort and assurance for the believer. Like Isaiah we live in a deeply disturbed world. We find the prophet saying: “Ah, the thunder of many peoples, they thunder like the thundering of the sea! Ah, the roar of nations, they roar like the roaring of mighty waters! The nations roar like the roaring of many waters, but he will rebuke them, and they will flee far away, chased like chaff on the mountains before the wind and whirling dust before the storm” (Isa. 17:12, 13).

There is no peace in looking to man. There is no hope in the things man makes. There is grave danger in rejoicing in his ability to effect change. There is certain disaster in forgetting God. Again we read: “You have forgotten the God of your salvation, and have not remembered the Rock of your refuge” ...

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