The old trapper with whom I was visiting happened to mention “drops from a plane” during our conversation. It sounded like something that I wanted to know more about, so I began to ask some questions of this man who had spent many years on a trap-line north of Ft. Chipewyan (AB).
He explained that it was very difficult to take enough supplies to last for the duration of the winter and spring trapping seasons, so supplies were ordered whenever they ran low. The communication to the store was by a two-way radio. The people at the store would wrap up the order — things like flour, sugar, tea and lard — and then a plane would fly to the designated area and begin to drop the items.
This method worked well, for there were no airstrips for landing and take-off. It was certainly good for the trapper who did not have to make a long trip for supplies. Even though this trapper had been familiar with this procedure for many years, he remained fascinated with the accuracy of the drops.
He told me, “We never lost anything. As the plane circled, the carefully wrapped items would bounce near us until the drops were completed. Boy, they were right on!”
I commented that I had heard of similar things being done in other parts of the world. As I thought about this, I felt there was a lesson to be learned, a comparison that could be made in the spiritual realm.
First of all, does my communication with God include not only my own needs, but also the needs of others who do not, or could not talk to Him because they do not know Him?
Also, Colossians 3:1 says, “If you then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above…” Answers from God in “gift packages” to us should include the filling of His Spirit, more sound knowledge of His Word, boldness to speak to others of Christ, and a genuine concern for others that moves us to pray for, and speak to them.
One more thing the now-retired trapper told me was, “When we came home from the trap-line, we went to pay for our drops from the plane.” We, as believers in Jesus Christ, know that we need not pay for these “drops” from the heavens. “Every good and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning” (James 1:17).
Instead we will be on the receiving end — we will be rewarded.
Bill & Shirley Jackson are honorary NCEM members who have ministered in many locations besides their home area of Goodfish Lake, AB. Those who’ve heard Bill preach and teach appreciate his ability to use everyday happenings to effectively illustrate Scriptural truths.
To get to know Bill & Shirley better, you can request a couple of Tribal Trails TV programs with the Jacksons. They are on DVD (#K193, #K194), and are free for the asking (donations to cover costs appreciated).
Adapted from our Northern Lights magazine (Issue #478). Note: some of the locations and involvements of our missionaries may have changed since the original publishing of this article.