Checking In and Looking Up

As the fight against the COVID-19 virus continues, how are you holding up? Are you feeling discouraged, deserted, despondent, defeated or depressed? Are there any other “d” feelings you are experiencing? How about deflated?

I remember the year Marion and I got engaged. It was 1989 (not bad for a male eh?). She knew I was going to pop the question sometime that summer. I booked a Hot Air Balloon ride for her birthday in August and she thought that would be the Day! Well I actually popped the question earlier in July at a beautiful picnic for two at Toronto Centre Island. We took a ferry to get there and it was a romantic, life changing day.

When the Hot Air Balloon ride came along it was also an exciting memorable moment. It was always a dream of mine to take the flight and experience an open air view of lifting off into the wide blue yonder. Every moment was a thrill from inflating the balloon with the burner heating the air which fluffed out the balloon into its tear drop shape to getting the sense of weightlessness at take-off.

As we ascended, we could see the objects on the ground get smaller and the air current take the balloon over farmers’ fields and forests. Dogs didn’t like us as we invaded their sky and their boisterous barks could be heard loud and clear. When we reached about two thousand feet our pilot stopped firing the burner and we quietly drifted. The feeling is hard to describe, but it was angelic if that makes any sense? One thing we quickly noticed was that the air in the balloon “envelope” was cooling causing our balloon to slowly, but steadily decline. Our pilot fired up the roaring burner and instantly we ascended again. I had no idea in watching hot air balloons from the ground that the flight is actually a continual ebb-and-flow, up-and-down experience with the heating and cooling of the mass of air in the envelope.

Well as they say, “What goes up must come…” I remember, as a young lad, watching a cartoon or comedy of a hot air balloon ride and the silly characters in the basket found themselves crossing a sea when suddenly the burner quit. They ran out of gas! There descent began and so did their panic. They had to maintain enough height to cross the sea so they began throwing things out of the basket to lessen the weight. They cut sand bags loose which helped a bit. They threw out their food supplies. Every thing they tossed seemed to help for a short time, but the reality of plunging into the water seemed inevitable. Now it was time for real sacrifice. They tossed their dearest possessions like trunks full of clothing, dishware and it went on and on. Finally, in desperation they tossed their own shoes and boots and trousers. This must have been a Charlie Chaplin film. You just can’t stop laughing!

In what we’ve gone through lately, we have to be serious in our attempts to stay above the COVID-19 virus sea. The reality is we could all plunge into these troubled waters. What we need is a pilot who has enough gas to keep us safe and ascending. Insert Jesus here! Yes, of course Jesus needs to be our pilot. The gas that fuels the burner can symbolize our obedience and faith in Him. When we lose faith and we lose our desire to obey our balloon begins to descend. Panic, fear and unnecessary cargo like sinful habits or desires must be tossed over to keep the ascent strong. However, the reality is in this world we will always have the downward pressures of sin, Satan and the gravity of the world working against us. People of wonderful faith and obedience may even plunge into the troubled waters, but the good and encourage news is this – our pilot will not abandon us. He can speak to those waters and say, “Peace be still!”

Let me encourage you today to keep your eyes on Jesus and keep looking up! He can take us to new heights as we throw off the things that so easily entangle us and weigh us down. And if we should find ourselves in those troubled waters He will float your boat. In the End He will be there as He was in your Beginning if your just trust in Him. Do you believe this? If so trust in Jesus to pilot you through this time. He will get us back to solid ground eventually – if not here then in His glorious kingdom.

Here are some verses that will inflate your faith and courage to keep going…

Hebrews 12, 1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. NIV 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Published by Greg Gaensler

Serving my LORD Jesus Christ at Calvary Bible Church in Smiths Falls, ON

4 thoughts on “Checking In and Looking Up

  1. Thank you Pastor Greg for the uplifting message! I love Jesus and he has helped me feel loved through these challenging times. I look forward to reading all that you share with love


  2. Thank you for the uplifting message. We can’t meet together as a church family but we can still worship together and support each other during this difficult time.i look forward to more of your messages of support. God bless


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