Holding Pattern
June 14, 2023 by Chad Bradley

Being stuck is the worst!

Towards the end of last summer, my wife and I took our kids to Myrtle Beach for vacation. It was our
children’s first time flying anywhere. It was this big to do. The trip there was flawless but on our way
home, we got stuck. It would have been ok if it was on the ground, but it was on the plane and in the
AIR! The flight should have only been 90 minutes, but we spent about FIVE HOURS circling just outside
of the airport that we were supposed to land at.

We were stuck in a holding pattern for three times longer than the flight should have taken. There was a
really bad thunderstorm over the airport, so we were just stuck. Waiting. To make things worse we
landed once at another airport nearby, refueled and went back up to wait some more!

Stuck up in the air, AND we could see the city we were supposed to be landing in. We could also see the
storm raging above the city, Oh, AND there were about five crying babies on this flight. Everyone is
hungry because we are flying through dinner time PLUS crying babies PLUS hungry kids. FOR FIVE
HOURS! Sounds like fun, right?

It’s almost needless to say that everybody is cranky on this flight. We all just wanted to get to the
destination that we can see. It’s RIGHT THERE!?!? But the risk of getting there would mean that we must
go through the storm, which could be, and probably would be way worse than circling in the sky in the
holding pattern.

It is just as upsetting, if not more, when we get stuck in a life holding pattern. We want to move on to
that relationship, new job, new city, or new situation, but we are just stuck. Circling and circling. We
think we can see the destination, but it feels so very elusive.

We ask God “why am I stuck here? Why can’t I just go over there where the thing I want is?” But what if,
to get to where we want to go, we have to go through a storm?

Maybe that’s why we’re stuck in a holding pattern. We are “stuck” so that we don’t go through the
storm that is waiting for us if we do it our way.

The Turbulence, the stress and frustration of being delayed and possibly missing the connecting flight is
not ideal. But going through the storm would be way worse. I don’t know what the future holds, but God
does, and maybe that’s why he’s got us stuck in a holding pattern.