The air traffic controller could see our future, so he asked,
Can You Hang on for Fifteen More Minutes?

It should have been a routine flight, late one night as Walt and I were flying back to Greenville in our sturdy little Rockwell Commander. The weather briefing had predicted scattered thunder storms, which, since they were scattered, we could easily skirt.

Instead, we were threading our way between huge storm clouds, our plane buffeted by heavy rain and turbulence. Atlanta Air Traffic Control kept in constant communication with us, giving us vectors to avoid the cloud buildups and other air traffic. Since it was so late at night, there was little commercial traffic, and our radar controller seemed to make our safety and comfort his priority.

We’d been flying perhaps for an hour with real tension when the controller asked, “1368 Juliette, can you hang on for fifteen more minutes?”

Of course we could. We had to, didn’t we? Walt answered, “Roger that, 1368 Juliette.”

“In fifteen minutes, you’ll be in clear skies for the rest of your flight.”

And in fifteen minutes, magically, we were flying under a quiet, star-filled sky. It was so clear we could see in the far distance the cluster of the lights of downtown Greenville. Soon the lights of runway 36 at GMU came into view, and the tower cleared us to land.

The Atlanta ATC controller could see our future. He could say with confidence, “You’ll be out of this turbulence in fifteen minutes.” And so we were.

I have experienced lots of turbulence and storms in my life, just as you have. Our storms may have differed in the causes, but heartache and loss for every one of us has been real and painful. But there is a God in Heaven who not only sees infinitely into the future, but who actually controls it. He will fulfill the loving and perfect plan He has carefully crafted for every one of us. And nothing, no one, no power in Heaven or earth, can hinder His plan.

Meanwhile, we’re still in the heart of the storm, and it’s scary! But Jesus knows how truly difficult the journey is. So He quietly asks, “Can you trust me for the future? Can you hang on for just a little longer? There are clear skies ahead.” Here’s how He said it in John 16:33 (nlt):

I have told you all this
so that you may have peace in Me.
Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows.
But take heart,
because I have overcome the world.

Are you surrounded by black storm clouds, heart-rending losses, incomprehensible tumult? Don’t be surprised. “Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows.” But remember the promise that comes with the trouble: “But you may have peace in Me.” Why? Because He has overcome the world. He is still in control.
Yes, you will have to endure storms and tumult for a while before you arrive safely into the quietness of God’s eternal presence. But even in the storm you can have peace. So take heart. He overcame the world when He died on the cross for your sins. So His peace can be with you, yes, and you can hang on for as long as He in loving mercy thinks it best. Glory and quietness and peace lie ahead. So yes, dear child of God, hang on!

A Word of Encouragement from Elizabeth Rice Handford