Yesterday’s news lauded the heroic efforts of Capt. C. B. “Sully” Sullenberger as he landed his crippled jet on the Hudson River. The fact that he landed an “80,000 pound glider” safely on water and all the passengers and crew lived to tell the tale is astonishing indeed. It is the stuff of legend. Being a 29-year veteran at US Airways, a former Air Force fighter pilot, training three days a year on what to do in an emergency such as losing both engines, and leading a safety consulting firm helped prepare him for this event and bring about a happy ending.
What would happen if that occurred in your life? If an unintended accident crippled you, would you walk away unscathed? If you lost two of the engines of your life, say your job and your health, could you land safely and find shelter? Could you survive the crash?
Ephesians 4:13-14 indicates that one of the marks of spiritual maturity is the ability to withstand the storms of life.
“. . . until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.” (ESV – English Standard Version)
According to this passage, a knowledge of God helps develop this kind of stability. Rather than book learning, this type of knowledge is gained by experience. It is not learned solely in the classroom or even the flight simulator, but it is gained in real life, on-the-job training. It comes through a combination of Bible study and seeing God answer prayer in daily life.
There is an important sequence in this passage. Maturity comes before the storm. Gaining a first-hand knowledge of God leads to stability in our lives.
Just as Capt. Sullenberger prepared for disaster before it happened, so we too need to know God better before the warning lights of our life begin to flash.