“In His Hands,” Friend, June 2004, 47
Jenny was excited to visit her friend Anne, who had moved to New York, but she was also afraid. What if she missed her airplane? What if Anne wasn’t there to meet her?
Dad helped Jenny find the right place at the airport and hugged her good-bye. “Have a good time,” he said. Jenny felt nervous, but she remembered that in family prayer Mom had prayed for her safety.
On the flight, Jenny read a book and drank juice. After landing, she found Anne’s family waiting with big smiles on their faces. “Welcome to New York!” Anne cried.
During the week they played, hiked, picnicked, and shopped. They even saw the Palmyra Temple and the Sacred Grove. When it was time to fly home, Jenny felt brave. She found her seat—right next to the window!—and put on her seatbelt.
Just as the plane began speeding up, it slowed again. The engines quieted, then stopped. “Is something wrong?” Jenny worried to herself.
“We can’t take off yet because of thunderstorms,” the pilot announced.
Three hours later, the airplane was still sitting on the runway. “I should have been home by now,” Jenny moaned. The grouchy man next to her muttered some bad words, and she felt even worse.
At last, the plane took off. Everyone cheered, except the grouchy man, who scowled. Jenny watched the city lights disappear beneath the clouds, then fell asleep.
A sudden flash awoke her. She blinked out into the darkness. There it was again!—sizzling, crackling lightning. Her stomach turned cold. She had never seen lightning so near. Her hair stood on end, charged with static electricity. She wanted to ask someone what would happen if lightning struck the airplane, but everyone else was asleep. Even the flight attendants were out of sight.
Bam! Another blinding ray of light exploded outside.
“Heavenly Father,” Jenny silently prayed, “I’m scared. Please help me to feel better and get home safely.”
As thunder rumbled and the airplane shook, Jenny remembered her vacation. She had flown to New York without any trouble. She had played, hiked, and ridden in a car. She hadn’t scraped her knees, caught a cold, or gotten lost. She hadn’t even forgotten her toothbrush. Nothing had gone wrong. Suddenly she realized that all of those things were blessings from Heavenly Father.
“If He protected me on the ground,” she thought, “why can’t He protect me in the air?” Peace entered her heart. She knew that no matter where she went, as long as she was faithful, she would be in God’s hands.
She settled back into her chair and fell asleep. When she awoke, the lights of her hometown twinkled up at her. “Prepare for landing,” the pilot said. Jenny offered a prayer of thanks, grateful to be safely home again.
“We should express joyful and sincere gratitude for past blessings. … We pray for protection in dangerous places. … We always have a prayer in our hearts.”
President Spencer W. Kimball (1895–1985), 12th President of the Church, “Pray Always,” Ensign, Oct. 1981, 4–5.