Your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also. (2 Tim. 1:5)

It was a near-accident, fortunately, instead of a tragic crash landing. Descending toward his destination, the airplane pilot realized the landing gear refused to engage. He worked the controls, trying to make the gear lock down into place. No success. He asked the control tower for instructions as he circled the landing field. Responding to the crisis, airport personnel sprayed the runway with foam as fire trucks and other emergency vehicles moved into position.

Flight attendants, meanwhile, instructed the passengers to put their heads between their knees and grab their ankles just before impact. The landing was seconds away.

Suddenly the pilot announced: “We are beginning our final descent. At this moment, in accordance with the International Aviation Codes established at Geneva, it is my obligation to inform you that if you believe in God you should commence prayer.”

Prayer was certainly appropriate, but that announcement makes it seem that only when we are pushed to the brink, backs to the wall, all escape routes closed—only then does society crack open a hint of recognition that God just might be there and “if you believe in God, you should commence prayer.”

In contrast, Paul wrote to Timothy about an indwelling faith, a faith that is so much a part of us that prayer comes naturally. May we influence others as Timothy’s mother and grandmother influenced him.

Believe with the hope of influencing others by your sincere faith.

Ron McClung lives in Fishers, Indiana, with his wife Carol. He has written his weekly column, Positive Perspective, for more than thirty years.

© 2019 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.