After five exhilarating and tiring days in Gold Coast (where I finally braced myself to ride on rollercoasters for the first time of my entire 24-year of life!! yes, including the 180* upside-down ride), me, my mom, my brother and brother’s girlfriend were set to leave to Sydney. It was Saturday, and Surfers Paradise was trashed with heavy rain and wind. Good for the land, way too wet for us. I was worried that we wouldn’t be able to be ready at the tourist spot where the shuttle bus was going to pick us up to the airport, cos we didn’t want to stand there with no roof to shield us from the rain. I asked God that He’ll please stop the rain, just for a couple of minutes, when the bus came so we could get on it without getting too soaked. And He surely had mercy on these four little creatures that He literally stopped the rain, EXACTLY before the bus arrived at the tourist point. I didn’t even have to open my umbrella. How good is He = D

The rain was back on its full mode  minutes after we hopped on the bus. Right on time, God. Thank You so much. And as Virgin Blue has promised in their poster, “The best on-time airline in the world”, we were airborne by 6.15pm Queensland time.

Everything went smoothly; from the boring tv channels cos I didn’t want to pay for movies plus the connections were faulty anyway, the food/drink trolley being pushed by pretty stewardesses along the aisle, to the flight itself. Until there was an announcement that we were not going to land on time due to bad weather. I look over to the window, and surprisingly I could see nothing. It was pitch black. I started to realize that the plane was actually moving in a full circle.  I turned the navigation channel on and yes, we were going 360* above Sydney. I suddenly saw a streak of light on the wing of the plane. I thought I was seeing one of the signal lights, but since it blipped randomly, I asked my mom if it was something that we shouldn’t be worried about. But she did confirm my fear; it was lighting bolts. So yes, we were flying among thunders; may sound dramatic but it was scary sick. Or sick scary. BOTH!

A very small voice whispered in my heart, wondering, “Could this be the end?”. Would I witness my entire life flashes before my eyes like what people say when one is nearing his end ?

I was ashamed to prove that we often call on God only when we are in unnerving situations, cos that was what I did. I haven’t been treating God as my Lord for few weeks already, and calling for help from someone (in this case, The One) that you’ve been ignoring would not be the nicest feeling in the world. I said to Him, “Lord, if this is what’s supposed to be my last moments as a human being, please make it less painful”. So, even in pleading about my life I had to be selfish and self-absorbed.

I watched the lightning bolts that seemed to strike more and more often, holding myself from screaming every time I saw them. Suddenly a very gentle voice spoke to me, saying, “Look at the works of My Magnificent Hands”. You mean, the lightning bolts, Lord ? And so I did. While watching the contrasting lights dancing over the pitch black sky, I began to sing,

I will lift my heart and sing,
I will worship You, my King
Earth and Heaven now proclaim,
Jesus Christ the Mighty Name

Through the storm and raging sea
I will never be alone
When my world seems out of sight
I know You will shine Your light

I stopped as the words immersed in my brain. It was too apt to be called as a coincidence that I sang that particular song, right in the middle of exactly the same situation. Literally! I praised Him and thanked Him for loving me, for knowing how to calm me down and to trust Him that His Magnificent Hands will do good for me. Alleluia to Christ, the Lord!

It was 70minutes before we were allowed to land. As we were losing the latitude (which were a bit nauseous, seemed like the pilot was eager to land as soon as he could), I could see the pretty night lights of Sydney. It was gorgeous. When we finally landed, all the tensions in the cabin seemed to melt and everybody were cheering and clapping hands. I wonder if there’s others who clapped for my Lord with me, for bringing us safe and sound, back on earth.

I wouldn’t call this a near-death experience. Instead, for me, it was one of the most liveliest experiences that God has shown me. It’s not like you fly among thunders everyday. I treasure this moment, and I treasure His goodness and mercy, His tender love, and His promise that He’ll never leave me alone. As scary as the situation might be.

Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia to Christ the Lord!

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