Newspapers around the world festooned their front pages with a headline that made history: “LINDBERGH DOES IT!” Charles A. Lindbergh (Feb. 4, 1902—Aug. 26, 1974) had flown from New York to Paris in 33 ½ hours, defying all odds and earning an esteemed place in aviation history. Lindbergh cranked the scanty 220 horsepower monoplane in the early hours of May 20, 1927, eager to navigate the unknown sky above the Atlantic. The crowd nearby clenched their teeth in worry, recalling the recent deaths of Rene Fonck, Noel Davis, and Stanton Wooster who had attempted the same challenge. After trudging through the muddy runway of Roosevelt Field, The Spirit of St. Louis slowly climbed the vacant skies, and the unpredictable journey began.
Lindbergh was cloaked in the blackness of night twelve hours after takeoff. Beneath him were monstrous and unforgiving waters that could swallow him whole. A shroud of hazy fog besieged his wings and clouded his vision for thousands of miles. Exhaustion was depleting his eager spirit since he had been without sleep for more than two days and nights. And frozen bullets of sleet pecked incessantly at the propeller, but Lindbergh stayed the course.
Suddenly, Lindbergh beheld a strip of earth beneath him: Europe’s splendid shores. The relieving sight rejuvenated his soul and he continued steadily toward Paris. The Missouri pilot soon circled the Eiffel Tower and landed in Le Bourget Field. His journey was over. Lindbergh had achieved the impossible with little more than a compass, a drift sight, and a full tank of faith.
Flying eastward to Europe is hard; flying heavenward is even harder. Every believer saved by grace is headed toward a “better country” (Hebrews 11:16). The fog of uncertainty can tempt us to turn around and abandon the plane. The roaring waters of tribulation may intimidate us for miles of our heavenbound flight. But one day, we shall see the golden shoreline of heaven after flying through this wicked world.
“For you have not as yet come to the rest and to the inheritance that the Lord your God is giving you” (Deut. 12:9). While we fly our voyage, the compass of faith and the drift sight of God’s word serves to guide us. As Sanford Bennett said in the hymn, There’s a Land That is Fairer Than Day,
“There’s a land that is fairer than day,
And by faith we can see it afar,
For the Father waits over the way
To prepare us a dwelling place there.
In the sweet by and by,
We shall meet on that beautiful shore;
In the sweet by and by,
We shall meet on that beautiful shore.”
Bible Gleanings is a widely-read weekend devotional column, written for the Murray Ledger & Times in Calloway County, Kentucky.
Brandon is the founder and main contributor to Brandon’s Desk, the blog with biblical resources from his ministry. He is proud to be the pastor of the family of believers at Locust Grove Baptist Church in Murray, Kentucky. He and his wife Dakota live there with their three dogs, Susie (Jack Russell), Aries (English Shepherd), and Dot (Bluetick Beagle).