Once on a day in March, I was due to fly out of JFK Airport in New York at 6:15 p.m. But the flight was delayed for three and a half hours because of ice. That afternoon there had been a light snowfall—only about two inches. When it came down it looked lovely. The houses and trees were covered with a beautiful coat of white; but at the airport, it caused havoc

The snow settled on the planes and froze. This made a safe take-off impossible, so every plane had to be de-iced. Large trucks came alongside our plane and with high pressure jets sprayed the whole of the fuselage with hundreds of gallons of de-icing fluid. It only took twelve minutes to do the job, but it was absolutely crucial. The ice on the wings didn’t look like much of a problem, but it was enough to prevent the airliner from doing what it was made to do and going where it was intended to go. That marvellous piece of engineering was earthbound, crippled by the cold grip of ice. But soon the ice melted under the power and pressure of the de-icing jets, and in a short time we were airborne.

Spiritually earthbound

As I sat in the plane and watched the de-icing process, I thought of the many times that my Christian life had been earthbound and I had been prevented from doing what God had saved me to do. So often as Christians we let the icy grip of materialism and worldliness, or fear and depression, hold back any real progress in our spiritual lives. Coldness towards God stifles prayer, and we know so little of soaring on eagles’ wings.

We allow many things to come into our lives that, like the falling snow, look so attractive and harmless; but when they settle, they mould to our lives like the ice on the fuselage of the plane. The result is the same. We need a spiritual de-icing. We need to feel again the cleansing and purifying jets of God’s love and grace melting us and making us ready to soar into the heavenly realms of fellowship with the Lord. We need to be doing what God saved us to do, and going where he wants us to go.

The de-icing of the plane did not take long, and neither does it take long for a believer to be brought back into a right relationship with God.

Christian, do you believe that?

It may be that you can see yourself sitting on the runway like that frozen plane. You’ve been there for years and see very little hope of change. Perhaps you’re afraid to try and take off because of fear of a crash.

God can restore in a moment all the wasted years of cold, empty religion. The fire of the Holy Spirit is the only effective remedy to the ice of cold, formal, lifeless Christianity.

Are you earthbound? Have you forgotten what it’s like to soar on wings like eagles? Then seek the Lord for forgiveness and renewal. Look to him. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.


As I watched the de-icing of the plane, I thought of the cold winter mornings at home when I have to de-ice the windows of my car with a little aerosol can. I thought how useless it would be trying to de-ice a huge airliner with my spray can. But don’t we try small remedies to our big spiritual problems when what we need is a drenching in the love and grace of God?

The Bible talks of grace abounding and love lavished upon us, so there is no shortage of the remedy. The question is, do we want it? As God made the eagle to soar in the sky, so we Christians are made not to be spiritually earthbound, but to enjoy all that the Lord has for us.

If we took the Scriptures seriously then two little words would transform our Christian lives, transform our churches and transform our society—DO IT.

A man dead in sin can do nothing to change his spiritual condition. But a saved man is no longer spiritually dead. He has been born again, he is alive in Christ, and therefore spiritual activity is possible.

He can be more prayerful, more obedient, more submissive to God. So DO IT.

He can be less critical, less jealous, and less envious. So DO IT.

It is as we do what we can that God enables us to do what we can’t do. The winds of divine grace take hold of us and lift us to higher spiritual realms. We soar on eagles’ wings into spiritual dimensions we’ve only dreamt of.

There’s so much more for us in Christ than we’ve yet tasted.

He gives strength to the weary

and increases the power of the weak.

Even youths grow tired and weary,

and young men stumble and fall;

but those who hope in the Lord

will renew their strength.

They will soar on wings like eagles;

they will run and not grow weary,

they will walk and not be faint

(Isaiah 40:29-31)

Peter Jeffery   © Day One Publications,