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Life Comes In Layers, You Know… June 23, 2009

Posted by Michelle Knoll in Devotionals, Journeys.
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I will never look at clouds the same way again.

I, the Cookie Lady, flew for the very first time in my life, this past weekend.

Yes, it’s true!  I’ve never flown commercially before.  Never trusted someone else with my life, that high off the ground.  I would rather learn to fly so I could take myself on a trip! 

However, I had an opportunity to visit a dear friend from college, plus meet his wife, and the excitement totally outweighed any nervousness I felt.  So I stepped onto my very first Boeing 717, as giddy as a schoolgirl.

Take-off was GRAND.  I giggled and grinned broadly, as the force of acceleration pressed me into my seat.  “Sweet!” I thought, as the plane lifted off the ground. And then the feeling of… nothing… beneath my feet. 

It was awesome.

The day was particularly clear, with only cotton-ball clouds scattered here and there, and some thinner clouds above.  As we climbed through the sky, I was totally mesmerized by what was around me.  We ascended beyond the first layer of the atmosphere with the cottony clouds, and into the second.  The view was breathtaking.

I now understand the concept of land looking like “patchwork.”  I noticed the higher we got, the more the intricate details disappeared, to reveal a grander scheme.  A more complete picture of how everything fits and works together.  I took notes, believe it or not, of the things we passed over, hoping that my map-minded husband would be able to assist me in tracing our flight path, once I got back home.

As I watched the scenery below, and gazed into the vastness around us, many concepts became much clearer to me: the idea of a “heavenly perspective,” of God lifting us above our circumstances, to be seated with Him in heavenly places, to mount up with wings as eagles… all these concepts have a much richer meaning to me now.

So I gazed out my window, across a vast sea of… nothing.  Just a clear sky with only a few stratus clouds.  I stared in awe and wonder, and then suddenly thought, “it’s all in layers!  And you move from one layer to another!”

Now, I’m not stupid.  I’ve known all along that the atmosphere is in layers: troposphere, stratosphere, mesosphere, thermosphere, exosphere… each layer serving its own purpose over the earth.  God designed it that way.  And it’s pretty cool technology.  :O)

But it’s one thing to read about the layers, and it’s another thing to experience the layers.  And this experience is one I shall never forget.  Because as I peered out my tiny airplane window into this vast expanse, I realized all of life is in layers.

We build upon our history with the future, as it becomes the “now.”  We “layer” our lives with the things we experience. Sometimes those layers feel quite comfortable, like warm layers of protection one wears when going out to play in snowy, cold weather.  Then there are other times the layers are harsh experiences that wound us, so they fit about as well as a sweater four sizes too small, and we feel uncomfortable.  And sometimes, in an effort to forget a harsh experience, we bury it under other layers, like a shirt with a stain that we cover with a vest.  We think it must be gone if we can’t see it anymore.

But it’s not.  It’s still there.  Like in “The Princess and the Pea,” the experience we’ve tried to bury under so many other experiences still effects us.  We can say it doesn’t exist, or we can say it no longer matters, but it still has an effect on every other layer that comes after it.

The only way to not have layers to deal with later on, is to take care of them before they get buried.  But sometimes that doesn’t happen.   So God has to go back in and peel off the layers, or carefully cut through them, to get to the offending layer and clean it up.  It’s not always pleasant while it’s happening, but once it’s done there is peace instead of irritation.  Like a buried splinter that has festered and then is removed, the skin can heal and become “new” again.

There are so many other analogies that I can make about this travel experience, but the concept of layers stuck with me the most.  Maybe it’s because, for the past year, God has been going through some layers in my life, in an attempt to get to a root problem.  Well, after a year, we’re there.  The “pea” has been revealed, and now we are in the process of cleaning the affected layer, and putting back together the layers above.  It wasn’t easy getting to that little incident that was such a trauma in my very young childhood.  But now that it’s been dealt with… the layers sit much more comfortably.  And there is peace.

I noticed at one point, while at our highest altitude, that the sky above me was taking on that characteristic “darker hue” and suddenly, my heart began to race.  I thought, “Come on, just a little higher! Come on! Go just a little bit higher!”  I’ve always had a desire to orbit the earth.  We weren’t anywhere close to achieving orbit, but boy it sure felt like we were close.  And all I wanted to do was… go… just a little higher.

And that’s the desire that resides in all Christians, to finally achieve that point where the circumstances we live through don’t affect us, where we don’t get weighed down with all the nitty-gritty details, and we are released from the things that so easily beset us.  If we could just… go… a little higher… 

So life, like the atmosphere, comes in layers.  Layers of experiences, some good and some not.  Deal with them as they come; don’t bury them.

May the Lord give you grace to see your life from His perspective.



1. syinly - June 24, 2009

Thank you, my favorite line from this post is “God lifting us above our circumstances.” That’s what I am really for right now. I enjoyed this post it gave me a new perspective. When we look at God’s creation there is always something to learn

2. The Cookie Lady - June 24, 2009

Thank you! It was an experience I will never forget. I knew the higher we got in the sky, the smaller everything below would appear. I KNEW that, but I had never EXPERIENCED that. And it really speaks of how looking at our situations from God’s perspective will help us obtain His Peace. God doesn’t sweat the intricate details of our lives, He has them taken care of. Blessings to you, syinly!

3. Lisa - June 24, 2009

Beautiful. I really enjoyed reading your post and your perspective on your own “layers”. You are a great writer!

4. The Cookie Lady - June 25, 2009

Wow, Lisa. Thanks! I really appreciate the complements. I only hope I can keep getting better at this writing thing. Blessings to you!

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