This devotional was originally published on September 14, 2016.

Several years ago, my wife and I were invited by one of her former students to go flying in her dad’s airplane, a small twin-engine plane that he used mainly for regional flying. So Lindsay and I checked our schedule — which was pretty wide open before having kids — found a free Friday night, and went flying with this family.

Flying over Peoria, Illinois, was awesome — cities look so different from the air. About an hour into the flight, the dad asked if I wanted to take the controls. Honestly, I was conflicted. Sure, I absolutely wanted to fly the plane, but I wanted nothing to do with controlling that many destinies. After much coaxing from the pilot and my wife, I took the plunge (not literally) and flew the plane for about five minutes.

As I finished, I was asking questions about the instrumentation, flight patterns, and how he dealt with poor weather. He explained to me how important the instruments are, especially in turbulent weather. In talking with pilots since then, I have heard that in times of turbulence, the one thing you have to do is trust your instruments. Those instruments are your guide.

I’ve found myself in turbulent times before — not only in flying, but in life. My natural instinct is to rely on myself and to press on, but I think that the truth about turbulence while flying also applies to turbulent times in life.

In flight or in life, you have to trust your guide. It is so easy for us as humans to try and fix our problems, to press on, or to work harder, but in turbulent times, what we need is to focus on our guide.

When we focus on our problem, Jesus seems to get smaller and smaller. When we focus on Jesus, however, our problem gets smaller and smaller. I wish I could tell you that turbulent times will never come, but Scripture is pretty clear that turbulence will happen. Our hope is not in our circumstances, but in our guide. Jesus is always constant. In turbulent times, remember that God is in control, and that you can trust him.