When I went on vacation last week, I had to do something I really don’t like–fly. It’s no secret I’m a nervous flyer and can’t sleep on planes. But when I was flying over Texas (probs) as the sun set, I found myself oddly calm.
Looking down on the massive landscape from 40,000 feet in the air, my worries about everything seemed so small. The nerves and fears and frustrations housed on the earth below me evaporated.
I do pretty good thinking when I’m staring out an airplane window (and when there are no clouds around). I think being so high up reminds me of the massive size of God and how teeny tiny I am. Looking down on the earth this time, I had the story of Abraham and Sarah on my mind.
I’ve been going through Genesis recently and a few weeks ago at church, the message was about Abraham and Sarah. You know those times when something seems like a coincidence? Like you pray for someone randomly and run into them the next day. Or you make up your mind about something and the opposite happens despite what you decided. Maybe it’s just me. Well, I’ve found that in Christ there are no coincidences.
The combination of being rocked by a certain sermon at the same time I am going through the story of Abraham and Sarah is not a coincidence. It’s God telling me to listen up.
I’ve been pondering Sarah for a few weeks now. She felt plagued by her inability to conceive, but she wasn’t going to let her infertility keep Abraham’s line from continuing. I see parts of myself in both her faith in Christ and her fleshly desire to control her circumstances. Even her humorous response to God’s blessings sound familiar to me. She is an extremely integral part in the story of mankind, and she struggled in that role.
Do you ever wonder what your role is? On this earth–or flying above it–you have a role. Maybe it’s to be a mom who shows the love of Christ to her kids or a business owner who leads with faith. “Big” or “small” we all have a purpose on this earth. I’m still figuring out my role. Like Sarah, I have a dream scenario for myself. If all my wishes came true for the life I want to have and the role I want to play, life would be at its pinnacle.
The problem with that logic is that I get so wrapped up in it that I fear I miss out on God’s role for my life. Like I’m too busy looking to the right to see what’s going on on the left. Sarah was too busy trying to fulfill her ideal role through Hagar that she missed out on a joyous journey that God told her and Abraham He would take them on. God said He would make Abraham into a great nation, and Sarah’s view of that promise was one from the earth. Our God is not a God confined to earth!
God exceeded Sarah’s expectations when she thought it was as good as it was going to get. I never want to think this season of life is as good as it’s going to get. I don’t want to have a mindset that is stuck on earth when I serve a God who put the stars in the sky. I want to embrace the role I am playing and be so steadfast in my faith that I know Christ deeper every day and can join Him in His plan for me instead of working against it.
I think this lesson He taught me was anything but a coincidence. Only God can coordinate my pastor to preach on exactly what I’m reading in my Bible so that I hear Him loud and clear.
I am a control freak who is afraid to mess up. I am a writer and a dreamer. I am a nervous flyer and an occasional risk taker. I am clueless about a lot and expert on a little. I love to laugh and see God in the little things. And all these things are important to Christ, no matter how small I feel from 40,000 feet in the air. When you don’t feel like He’s listening to you and you can’t hear His voice, just know that He cares about your big dreams and your small quirks. He hears you and understands you more than you understand yourself.
If you’re like me and you’re struggling to figure out your role, I hope you can find some encouragement in the story of Sarah and Abraham. It’s hard to not take matters into your own hands or just give up completely–the seemingly only options sometimes. Just know you’re not alone and that you serve a God who LOVES you more than the things of the earth can satisfy you.
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Holly Hoehner has her bachelor’s degree in public relations from the University of Oklahoma. She considers herself more of a Russell Westbrook than a Kevin Durant and enjoys learning about and participating in the digital age, blogging about anything that comes to her mind and creating witty Instagram captions. Holly was raised a die-hard Sooner fan in Edmond, OK.