"Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up."
James 4:10 (NIV)
Last weekend I arose before the sun, and drove to Waterford, WI to see the launching of the hot air balloons during the Waterford Balloon Festival. Arriving a little late, I saw several balloons already aloft and climbing in the early morning light. This was the last balloon to launch, and I watched as it quickly gained altitude.
But before it could rise, it had to be filled with air. The balloon starts out laying flat on the ground. A large fan begins to blow cold air into the envelope, or balloon fabric, and during this process the balloon is tethered to the ground -- to a pick-up truck, actually. In addition, two people hold long ropes also connected to the top of the balloon.
Once the balloon is inflated, the pilot begins to heat the air inside the balloon with the propane burner. As the balloon gains buoyancy, the pilot yells "weight!" and someone runs to the basket to lay their weight on it to keep the balloon from rising until it is ready.
It's possible to think of ourselves similarly to this balloon. We may start out feeling flat, or unfulfilled. As we go through life, we begin to gain confidence in ourselves, but we can't achieve satisfaction in life completely on our own. We may feel stuck, much like the tethered balloon, and we can't go any further. We are tossed by the troubles of life, buffeted by the rising winds of difficulties we face, with no way to cope.
When we feel the Light of Christ in us, just like the flame on the burner of the balloon, we expand with the possibilities of what we were created for. Little by little, we gain buoyancy in our lives until we feel confident we can handle whatever comes at us, as long as Christ is with us.
If we begin by humbling ourselves before God, then He will lift us up. He will show us the way to live. And though we are buffeted by the winds of change, we can remain steadfast in the One who lifts us up.
It takes a team to launch a big hot air balloon. And it takes relationship with Christ to gain perspective for our life. When we humble ourselves before God, and admit that we cannot do this life on our own, He will lift us up. And through our prayers, and by developing trust in God, we can gain guidance to follow wherever the winds of life may take us.
Today's song is by a band called The Afters, and is called "Lift Me Up".
Enjoy, God Bless.
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