Isaiah 41:10 - Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.
I am not an airplane pilot.
With my sense of direction, I would start out for Los Angeles and end up landing in London. That being confessed, I have a great admiration for those who pilot those hunks of metal safely from place to place.
That admiration was increased when I heard about Tammie Jo Shults, the lady who was at the helm of the Southwest Airlines' flight which had the engine failure a few weeks ago. You remember the blade of a fan broke loose, killed a passenger, and forcing the plane into a steep dive.
Now there are a number of things which stand out from the constantly repeated videos covering the story.
1. Even though the flight attendants on every jet take time to tell the passengers about their oxygen masks, video from inside the cabin show people using their cameras, and not using their oxygen.
2. Most of all, I remember how the calm in Shults' voice shone through even when she was piloting a damaged plane and was trying to get permission to make an emergency landing.
As she talked to the air traffic control people, she exhibited incredible restraint. She said, "No, (the plane is) is not on fire, but part of it's missing. They said there's a hole and someone went out."
It didn't take too long before I found myself admiring this lady. Like most of the news folk, I wanted to hear where she derived such peace in the face of a potential disaster. I was not alone. Soon the newscasters were talking about how
1. Shults was one of America's first female fighter pilots;
2. she was the first woman to pilot the Navy's Top Gun F-18 Hornet.
Most certainly, the years of experience coupled to some incredible training had left their mark.
Still I wondered, is there more to this woman's story? The national media didn't tell me, but a little digging revealed my hunch had been right. There was another reason Shults stayed so calm: she, my friends, is a Christian.
A graduate of MidAmerica Nazarene University, Shults told her old friend and college roommate, "We have a Lord that transcends our dally trials. I give God the credit."
Indeed, she does. In fact, she gives the Lord credit all the time, and not just when she is piloting a plane with only one engine.
How do I know that? Easy. Another source quoted Shults as having said, "Sitting in the captain's chair" gave her "the opportunity to witness for Christ on almost every flight." She is a life example for all God's children who have been rescued by the Redeemer. At peace because of Jesus' sacrifice, we show our gratitude by leading a life of witness to those who are lost.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, on a regular basis people overlook Your handiwork in their lives. Let them realize that through the Savior Jesus Christ, they can have a peace which transcends human understanding. This we ask in the Savior's Name. Amen.
The above devotion was inspired by a number of sources, including one written by Shane Croucher for Newsweek on April 19, 2018. Those who wish to reference that article may do so at the following link, which was fully functional at the time this devotion was written: http://www.newsweek.com/listen-hero-southwest-pilot-tammie-jo-shults-plans-emergency-landing-dramatic-892334
Also, Jeannie Law for the Christian Posy on April 21, 2018 at https://www.christianpost.com/news/friends-heroic-southwest-pilot-tammie-jo-gives-god-credit-safely-landing-plane-223231/
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
To Download Devotion MP3 to your computer, right click here and select "Save Link As" or "Save Target As" or "Download Linked File As"