My plane had left the gate at O'Hare Airport in Chicago - and I thought we were on our way. Wrong. First, they routed us across the backside of the airport - I think it was in Wisconsin. Then, after a slow, meandering tour of that huge airport, we finally ended up in a long line of aircraft waiting to take of. Well, after a while, I got a little impatient. That's okay. What's important is that the pilot not getting impatient. We don't want him to go until the tower says it's okay. He knows you don't take off until you've gotten clearance from the tower - no matter how long you have to wait.
Well, I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You about "Cleared For Take Off."
A powerful lesson in faith and patience from the life of Rebekah, in the Old Testament. God has promised Rebekah that, in spite of the usual Jewish tradition, her younger son Jacob will receive his father's blessing instead of her older son Esau. But it's taking a long time - and father Isaac appears to be at the point of death. So Rebekah hatches a scheme to get the blessing God promised Jacob would get - deceiving his nearly blind father into thinking he is big brother Esau.
Basically, Rebekah has no clearance from God - but she takes off anyway. The result is an awful crash. Our word for today from the Word of God comes from Genesis 27:41. "Esau held a grudge against Jacob because of the blessing his father had given him. He said to himself, 'The days of mourning for my father are near; then I will kill my brother Jacob.'" Great. Now we have one brother wanting to kill the other brother. Rebekah is forced to tell Jacob, "Flee at once to my brother Laban. Stay with him for a while until your brother's fury subsides. When your brother is no longer angry with you and forgets what you did to him, I'll send word for you to come back from there. Why should I lose both of you in one day?'"
What a mess. First, father Isaac will live 20 more years - time wasn't running out for God to come through. Esau wants Jacob dead. Rebekah will not see her younger son for 14 years - and she has alienated the one she does have at home. In her words, she effectively lost both her sons in one day. All because she couldn't wait for God to do it in His way, in His time.
Sound familiar at all? Maybe you thought God would have acted by now. You're still waiting - but the temptation is there to panic - "it's now or never." You know you don't have a "go" from the Lord do you? But you're ready to take off.
If a pilot does that, he's flying into disaster. If you do that, you're flying into disaster. The greatest enemy of God's best, is impatience. That's why the psalmist tells us to "be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him" - that's Psalm 37. And later in that same psalm, we're told to "wait for the Lord, and keep His way." Don't let impatience make you leave God's way for your way. He makes everything beautiful in its time.
Ask God for the patience to wait on the runway. And don't doubt in the darkness what God told you in the light. Avoid the heartache that comes from taking off without clearance from the Flight Controller of your life.