Brace Yourself

Recently I saw a message posted by a pastor on Facebook. In this message, he gives a warning to our nation about events that could be on the horizon. The message he shares is one that makes you contemplate the future of America.

He describes a series of dreams where the Lord showed him a great shaking coming to our country. He saw an economic collapse, more riots, fires, chaos and rampant lawlessness. While I do not know him, he seemed very sincere. I’ve seen posts from people who have criticized what he shared. But I’ve also seen posts from people who say it’s a message to wake up. What you choose to believe is up to you.

Whether or not those things he mentioned will come to pass remains to be seen. Either way, we should be praying for our nation and the salvation of all those who do not know the Lord. Even if the things he mentions do not come to pass, it’s easy to see that lawlessness is already in our midst. Economic collapse is a real possibility, though the timing is a matter of debate.

There were some things in the Pastor’s dream that struck a chord with me. The words he heard in the dreams were BRACE YOURSELF. When he said this, it reminded me of 2016 when the Lord showed me The Miracle on the Hudson as a metaphor for what’s coming to our nation. I wrote about this in my book, Blink: A Story about the Rapture. The book has several chapters describing Flight 1549.

The words Captain Sullenberger used when he warned the passengers were, Brace, Brace Brace. These words let the passengers know they needed to be ready for a crash landing. When the pastor shared these words in his Facebook message, I immediately thought of Sully Sullenberger and the landing of Flight 1549 on the water. Though this story is in my book, I have never blogged about it. So today I’m going to tell you what I believe the Lord showed me. The story of Miracle on the Hudson for me was a reference to Psalm 91, and the state of the world we now live in.

The chapter about Flight 1549

Psalm 91 and the Miracle on the Hudson

The Lord has used many things to remind me of Psalm 91 and dwelling under his wings. But, more than anything, planes are used to get my attention, which makes sense because they have wings.

Back in 2016, I became very interested in the story of Sully Sullenberger, known to most as the Miracle on the Hudson. The Lord used this story to show me some amazing connections to Psalm 91 and the times we are living in.

On January 15, 2009, Flight 1549 took off from LaGuardia Airport in New York City, bound for Charlotte, North Carolina.  About two minutes into the flight, the plane struck a flock of Canadian geese. The birds, traveling approximately 50 miles per hour, were sucked into the engines. Passengers immediately heard loud bangs and noticed flames shooting from the engines. Then came the eerie silence. The engines had shut down. The pilots realized they had minutes to act. 

Sullenberger called in a mayday to air traffic control saying, “This is Cactus 1549… hit birds. We’ve lost thrust on both engines. We’re turning back towards LaGuardia.”

Within seconds, however, Sullenberger realizes going back to LaGuardia is not an option.  

I am not sure if we can make it to any runway,” he tells air traffic control. “What’s over to our right? Anything in New Jersey? Maybe Teterboro?”

“Cactus 1549, turn right two eight zero. You can land Runway 1 at Teterboro,” the air traffic controller responds.

Sullenberger considers this option and realizes it will not work. He responds, “We can’t do it…….we’re gonna be in the Hudson.”

“I’m sorry, say again Cactus?” asks the air traffic controller, dumbfounded.

Sullenberger decides to glide the plane into the Hudson River. Luckily, he’s had some experience with this. He was a glider instructor, so he was familiar with the process. But gliding an Airbus 320, instead of an actual glider plane would be tricky. A giant obstacle was in his way as well. The George Washington Bridge stood in the path, but miraculously Sullenberger was able to clear it. 

A glider

At 3:30 p.m., just minutes after taking off from the runway at LaGuardia, Sullenberger announces to the passengers and crew, “This is the Captain. Brace for impact.”  Next, the flight attendants began shouting, “Brace! Brace! Brace! Heads down! Stay down!”

At a speed of 150 miles per hour, US Airways Flight 1549 glides into the Hudson River. The whole ordeal lasted just three and a half minutes after taking off from LaGuardia.

Once in the water, Sullenberger gives the command to evacuate. The crew helps usher passengers from the emergency exits to the wings of the plane. Passengers do not panic, but instead help others by handing out life vests. Standing on the wings, the passengers are spared the chilly water of the Hudson River, which was 35 degrees Fahrenheit. 

All passengers are rescued on Flight 1549

In just four minutes the Thomas Jefferson, a ferry commanded by Captain Vince Lombardi,  reaches the plane and begins the process of rescuing passengers. Sullenberger checks the plane several times to make sure no one is left on board. All 155 passengers and crew are rescued with no loss of life.

Sullenberger landed the plane well, but there were so many ways it could have gone wrong. If he came in too fast, the plane would have cartwheeled, or the fuselage would break up. If he came in too slow, the plane could have stalled, causing the nose of the plane to violently hit the water. But, as it was, Sully hit the water just right.

Other things could have gone wrong as well such as…. the plane could have crashed in the city!!!! The plane could have hit the George Washington Bridge, which is one of the busiest in the United States. The plane could have landed in the choppy ocean, instead of a smooth river. In addition, the plane landed in winter when there was very little traffic on the river. Also, ferry boats just happened to be nearby so rescue came quickly.

When I reflect on the story, I realize things like this don’t just happen.  It wasn’t luck or the “universe” that saved those people.  Firstly, the plane had an experienced pilot who actually knew how to fly gliders!  Secondly, just the fact that the pilots didn’t panic and made the right decisions is a blessing.  Apparently after the accident, there were many who believed Sully should have tried to go back to the airport.  Later, they realized the plane would not have made it, and instead would have crashed into city buildings.   Also, even though Sully had flown gliders before, he had never glided one onto water!  Most aviation experts are still astounded the plane didn’t break apart.  Even just a small variation in how the plane hit, and even where it hit in the water, could have produced a different result.

The whole ordeal lasted 208 seconds. That’s not much time to react and respond to a disaster. Sully did respond, however, and even though the plane went down, no lives were lost! The passengers were found on the wings of the plane when rescue ferries arrived.

There’s a message in this story and it applies to our lives right here and now. What is the message you ask?

COVID-19 AND RADICAL REBELLION

The crisis we are facing with COVID-19 and the radical rebellion breaking out in our nation came swiftly. Like Flight 1549, we were pulled into this emergency situation at lightning speed. The “flock of geese” hitting our nation’s engine is becoming larger and more nefarious by the day. 

On Flight 1549, the Canadian geese came out of nowhere. Once sucked into the engines, it was game over. The engines shut down, not to mention the geese literally liquified! Ugh, that’s probably too much detail, but it shows just how dire the situation was.  Right now, we have been sucked into a crisis that we can’t escape. We are on a plane without engines. The players of the One World Government have sucker punched our engines and we are going down fast. One of their main goals is to shut down the enginethe entire economy.

Now, I know many people want me to say that a political leader will save us. We should never put all our hopes in a person. I’m not saying you shouldn’t get involved in the political system. We should always try to elect leaders who will stand with biblical principles.

I am saying DO NOT PUT ALL YOUR HOPES IN ANY LEADER. People are placed in leadership and in various roles for periods of time ordained by God. But, our hope has to come from Jesus. Sully did all he could to keep the plane from going down. He and his co-pilot tried to restart the engines. But, they were ruined. There was no hope in that respect. Yet, there was another kind of hope.

As a pilot, Sully performed what was called an unpowered ditching into the Hudson River. He used the knowledge he possessed and put it to work using a combination of wisdom, skill and faith. 

Brace Yourself for what’s coming…..

Sully gave the passengers a warning. He told them to BRACE.  This meant they had to prepare themselves for a crash- in this case, it would be a crash landing in water. To brace oneself on an airplane the person places their head against, or as close as possible, to the surface they are most likely to strike- usually this would be the seat in front of them.  They would do this by bending their body forward at the waist, while placing their hands on top of their head. They also need to keep both feet firmly on the floor.  

Brace, brace, brace yourself to Jesus

In all my years of flying, I’ve had to do this just once- and believe me, once was enough! From what I was told after the flight, there was an issue with the hydraulics on the plane. We had to make an emergency landing for safety reasons.

I can still hear the flight attendants saying, “Brace! Brace! Brace!” I had tears streaming down my face as I put my head down and braced myself against the seat. I briefly imagined the plane crashing to the ground, but then I did my best to focus on Jesus. We landed safely, but Miracle on the Hudson flashed through my mind during the ordeal.

The dictionary says brace means: to get ready for something difficult or unpleasant. It also means to give added physical support or strength to something (such as a limb), or to support oneself by leaning against someone or something. In Middle English the word brace meant to clasp or fasten tightly. In French, however, the word brace comes from bracier, which means embrace. This word derives from braciere, which refers to a protective lining of armor to protect the arm. In Latin, the word brace comes from the word bracchia, which means arm.

Essentially, when Sully and his crew were saying “brace”, they were saying to get ready for something difficult that would require extra support and strength to survive. The passengers had to prepare both mentally and physically for this ordeal that happened very quickly.

THE TIME HAS COME TO BRACE YOURSELF

Right here, right now, we must BRACE OURSELVES! Our nation is crashing as I write this. We are on the plane. But, we have something, or should I say SOMEONE who we can embrace. We have someone we can hold fast to. We have a Savior who is our shield and buckler, as Psalm 91 says. The word brace is closely tied to the word arm. There is much to glean from this reference.

 The human arm is often used in scripture to show spiritual power and strength.  The source of strength is not in human power, but in Almighty God. There are more than 40 verses that attest to the Lord’s powerful arm. This is revealed beautifully in Isaiah 53, where Jesus is described as the suffering Messiah who would die on the cross. It begins by saying, “and to whom has the ARM of the Lord been revealed?

“Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem. Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all…..” ISAIAH 53:1-6

These verses show that God bears his arm by delivering us through his Son Jesus. He bears all our punishment so we can have peace. By his wounds we are healed. The verses describe a suffering servant who delivers us in all circumstances.

Isaiah 40:10,11 says, “Behold, the Lord God will come with strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him. He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.”

 The Arm of the Lord is Mighty to Save: Jesus is our Psalm 91

My point in showing you these verses is for you to see WHO you can hold on to. HIS ARM IS MIGHTY TO SAVE. When the time comes to brace yourself, you need to remember to secure yourself to Jesus. When the economy collapses, you can grab onto him. When the plane crashes, we call on him. Remember that the passengers were on the wings of the plane when they were rescued. This is a picture of finding shelter under the wings of Jesus. “He will cover us under his feathers, and under his wings we will find refuge,” (Psalm 91:4).  Verse 5 says, “you will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day.” In the case of Miracle on the Hudson, the passengers faced the terror of the day, rather than the night, but it was terror nonetheless. In this dark world, we will face terrors of the day and night, but we can rest assured the arm of the Lord is fastened tightly to us

Avoidable passenger injuries occur during plane crashes when passengers’ limbs or body parts are flailing (moving out of control). But, when a passenger’s body is braced properly, the severity of injury is greatly reduced. It is imperative to remember this concept and apply it to our relationship with Jesus. If we panic and turn to other sources of strength, we will face greater fear and ultimately injury in our lives. We will flail in all directions! Have you ever seen one of those wacky waving inflatable balloons called tube men? They are used to advertise for various companies. Attached to an electrical fan, they move about with flailing motions- moving up and down and every which way. Think of the fan being used to move the tube man as worldly hope or hope that comes from man. This kind of hope is not secure and will leave you nauseated, shaken, flailing and forsaken.

In times of chaos, cling to the Word, speak the Word and dwell in the Word- JESUS. He doesn’t change and he doesn’t leave, or forsake you- and he certainly doesn’t flail !!! 

When the Rapture occurs, we will be taken under the wings of Jesus. The world will be flailing in turmoil, while the Bride is taken to glory.

A Jewish prayer shawl

When thinking of the water landing that Flight 1549 endured, I can see a prophetic picture of the Rapture. Water is often a reference to the world in biblical scripture. The plane went down into the water, which reminds us the world is crashing. Even the pilot’s name is a reference to the world.  Sully’s real name is Chesley Sullenberger. This name Chesley means meadow or field. Interestingly enough, the bible also uses fields and meadows as references to the world.  

The plane crashed into the water, but the passengers were saved. They climbed on the wings. Wings are used in the Bible as symbols of safety and refuge. The Jewish prayer shawl has four corners or wings. These wings represent the refuge, shelter and safety found under God. They are also symbolic of the Jewish wedding, where the groom shelters and protects the bride. The corners of the prayer shawl (tallit) are spread over the bride during the ceremony. Sometimes a prayer shawl is used as the material for the wedding canopy that covers the bride and groom. This is all meant to point to the wings of the groom protecting and caring for his bride. It is also a picture of the home in heaven the groom provides. This is what Jesus will do for his bride one day, as the world approaches the darkest time on earth known as the Tribulation. Even while we still reside here, Jesus is our shelter and refuge in times of trouble.

Sully later said of the incident on the Hudson: “It was very quiet as we worked, my copilot Jeff Skiles and I. We were a team. But to have zero thrust coming out of those engines was shocking—the silence.”

Sully was the last to leave the aircraft- but only after carefully checking every inch of the the cabin twice, to make sure all passengers and crew had been evacuated.

One day the bride will be evacuated. Our Lord is faithful to make sure every last one of his true followers are evacuated before all Hell breaks loose on earth. The Rapture itself will be silent. The bride will be gone in the blink of an eye. This will certainly shock the world.

The Time is Short

Make no mistake. This world is fading away. Even our great nation is in its final days. I know you don’t want to hear that. I am not being pessimistic when I write this. I still believe we should pray like we’ve never prayed before because the timing is in God’s hands and he listens to our prayers. But, I have read the Word and it is clear. At some point the Antichrist will come, as well as the Tribulation. Before it arrives, we need to BRACE OURSELVES TO CHRIST. Have you ever seen those emergency procedure pamphlets in the back of the airplane seat? They should have a picture of the cross and the words HOLD ON TO JESUS written inside.

Believe it or not, I’ve got another aviation story to share with you! This one is very recent and happened back in 2018. In this case, passengers and crew had to once again, BRACE THEMSELVES.

Flight 1380

This is a story about a brave, God-fearing woman named Captain Tammie Jo Shults, and her crew. If you aren’t familiar with her story, in 2018 she safely landed Southwest Airlines Flight 1380 after the plane suffered an engine failure.  After reading about her experience, I understood she not only dwelled in Jesus’ shelter that fateful day, she flew under it!

For Tammie Jo, the morning of April 17, 2018 began like any other. She woke up early, grabbed her cup of tea and Bible. It was her daily routine to give this time to Jesus. She read scripture and meditated on it each morning.

“I always text a portion of what I’ve read to my family members as I pray over each of them and whatever they may be doing that day. Then, as I have ever since I became a pilot, I pray over my flights. I ask God to guide my judgment and airmanship. When I started flying for Southwest, I also started praying for my crew and passengers,” (Tammie Jo Shults).

Tammie Jo’s book, Nerves of Steel

     Just by reading this excerpt from Tammie Jo’s book, Nerves of Steel, I can see she began her day by dwelling in the shelter of the Most High.  Did she know what would happen on Flight 1380 later that day? No, she did not. But she made a habit of giving her day to Jesus, no matter what came. This is the mindset we need in our daily walk. As you read about her experience, you’ll see that her nerves of steel didn’t come from her own strength, but from Jesus.

As Tammie Jo prepared for the flight, she got to know her crew for the day. Flight crews can vary from one day to another, so Tammie Jo made it a routine to not only brief her crew, but get to know them.  This would become very important because at some point this Captain and crew will need to work in sync to avert disaster.

The first leg of the flight went smoothly from Tennessee to New York. Next, it was on to Dallas, with 144 passengers on board. On this part of the journey from Tennessee to Dallas, Tammie Jo handed over control to her co-pilot Darren. For the first part of the journey, everything carried on as normal.

About twenty minutes into the flight something unexpected happened. As Tammie Jo describes it, “it felt like a huge truck hit my side of the aircraft. My first thought was that we’d collided with another plane.”

As the plane tried to flip over on its left side, Tammie Jo and Darren worked as a team to figure out what to do. They quickly realized they had an engine failure on their hands.

Actually, Jesus had an engine failure on HIS HANDS!

 Oxygen masks fell from their compartments as the plane bounced to and fro. The aircraft shuddered violently. Inside the cockpit, smoke billowed.  “It was like being inside of a smoky snow globe that someone was shaking hard,” described Tammie Jo.

Psalm 91

Here is where dwelling in the shelter of Jesus is imperative. Psalm 91:10 says, “no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent (in this case, plane).”  When smoke is filling the room and your plane is shuddering, taking hold of this promise will save your life!

At this point, Tammie Jo and Darren heard a loud roar and felt “stabbing pain” in their ears. The nose of the plane began hurtling toward the ground. The disaster had come.

Later, Tammie Jo finds out the trouble began when a piece of a turbine fan blade from the left engine broke off. This caused the engine to explode. Pieces of the engine frame flew off. Meanwhile, a panel ripped underneath the wing. A fuel line was also cut, allowing fuel from the left engine to escape.  As Psalm 91 says, “the arrow that flies by day” had come. What would Tammie Jo and her co-pilot do?

The worst of it wasn’t over because a piece of the debris from the engine hit a window located at Row 14 and broke it.  A sudden loss of air pressure at 500 miles per hour created the “stabbing pain” Tammie Jo and the passengers felt in their ears. Now was the time to hear Jesus’ voice above the deafening roar of the plane.

Tammie Jo and Darren worked furiously to combat the constant shuddering and turbulence on the plane. Tammie Jo described it as “flying through an asteroid belt, hitting most of the rocks as they went.”

DO NOT GIVE IN TO THE FEAR!

I don’t know about you, but as a passenger I think I would have passed out by now! I personally cannot stand turbulence so as I try to imagine what Tammie Jo describes, I can see how it would cause great fear in my heart. Now that I’ve learned so much about Psalm 91 though, I realize I cannot let fear overtake me. Tammie Jo could not let fear overtake her. Fear would impede her ability to act in faith.

As the plane continued to roll, Tammie Jo and Darren barely had time to get their oxygen masks on. They worked together to keep the plane from lurching out of control. Tammie realized she would have to “work with the plane and not against it.”  This meant the plane would have to descend, which in this case, felt like a “free fall”. Tammie Jo needed a safe place to land the plane and she needed it NOW!

Philadelphia became the site of choice. That’s where they would land. Hope was in sight, but danger still lurked. Landing the plane would not be easy, but it could be done. “I can do all things through Christ, who gives me strength,” is the verse that comes to mind during these times.

Tammie Jo made a cabin announcement. “We are not going down. We are going to Philly.”  Tammie Jo’s message was heard by many of the passengers and crew. It filled their hearts with hope. As I meditate on Tammie’s message, I am reminded that with Jesus we are not going down. We are spared the fires of Hell and judgment. Even if Flight 1380 had literally gone down, those in Christ would have gone up. Also, I see a glimpse of the Rapture here. Revelation 3:10 says to the Church of Philadelphia:

     “Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth.”

This hour of trial described in Revelation is much worse than a plane crash. It is the Tribulation, which is where all Hell will break loose on earth. The Church of Philadelphia is made up of all believers who truly love Jesus. Philadelphia means “brotherly love”. The root word is phileo, which means to love. This is the Church Jesus loves. When horrific calamity comes to this world, Jesus will take us on his wings and save us, just as Psalm 91:4 describes. “He will cover us under his feathers, and under his wings we will find refuge.”  Tammie Jo would land that plane safely in Philadelphia, just like Jesus will fly and land us in heaven at the Rapture one day as well. We go up instead of down!

During this whole ordeal while the Tammie Jo and Darren worked together, the flight crew worked heroically to reassure, calm and help passengers. Instead of buckling up during the turbulence, they got to work in the plane. As the crew monitored the situation in the aircraft cabin, they were struck by debris, while at the same time collided with seats during the bursts of shaking. They shouted, “We’re going to be okay! We’re going to Philly!”  This simple message of hope helped passengers “replace terror with possibility.”

The world will punch us in the gut, but we can win the fight with Jesus!

When flight attendant Rachel Fernheimer arrived at row 14, she saw something that probably felt like a punch to the gut. Debris from the engine explosion had broken a passenger’s window. When this window blew out, a passenger’s upper body had been sucked out of the opening. The only thing keeping this passenger inside was her seatbelt. The passenger in the aisle seat had worked tirelessly to pull the passenger back in. Rachel used all her might to pull the passenger to safety as well. Two more passengers joined in the struggle to free the passenger, but to no avail. 

A flight attendant alerted Tammie Jo and Darren of the dire situation regarding the passenger who was still partly outside the plane window.  At this point, Tammie Jo had taken over the controls because it was the captain’s responsibility to land a plane in times of emergency. Tammie Jo slowed the aircraft down to reduce the air flow outside the plane. After this, the passenger was able to be pulled back in. Unfortunately, the passenger, Jennifer Riordan, was in bad shape. A retired nurse on board began CPR on her.

In the meantime, Tammie Jo and Darren concentrated on flying the plane and preparing to land. It wouldn’t be your typical landing. With one engine and a damaged wing, the speed and power of the plane would be an issue. Keeping the plane level was another complication.  

As Tammie Jo approached the runway, another problem arose. She needed to make one last right turn to line up with the airport runway, but the plane would not turn. Time seemed to stop for a moment and then Tammie said out loud, “Heavenly Father?” These words can be heard on the cockpit recorders. The next part she prayed silently- “What am I forgetting?” she prayed.

Notice that Tammie Jo did not panic. She called on her Heavenly Father. She knew the very wings of that plane were in the hands of Jesus. He would cover the wings of the plane under his wings! And that is certainly what happened because after her short prayer, she knew what to do and was able to turn the plane in the right direction. As Tammie Jo got closer to landing, the flight attendants told the passengers, “Heads down! Stay down! Brace! Brace! Brace!”  

 At 11:23 a.m. the plane landed safely. Twenty minutes had passed since the explosion. Likely it was the longest 20 minutes in the lives of every single person on that plane!

Tammie Jo said, “Thank you, Lord. Thank You, thank you Lord,” as the plane taxied on the runway. Yet, she knew it wasn’t completely over. There was a severely injured passenger who needed help. 

After all safety checks were completed, Tammie Jo went to check on the passengers. She was quite surprised to find they were not panicked. They were calm, collected, relieved and grateful.  Tammie Jo made an announcement via the PA system saying, “God is good, and we are on the ground.”

Tammie Jo exited the plane, thanking God for his protection and guidance.  After exiting the plane, Tammie Jo’s pulse was taken by an EMT. To his shock, it wasn’t even elevated. You would think after such an ordeal, it would have skyrocketed!

That’s what happens when you dwell, or should I say fly, in the shelter of the Most High. She was only able to “bring the bird down carefully” because Jesus was her “wingman”.

Tammie Jo had this to say: “I’m as human as the next person. I believe my calm voice and pulse rate that day were the product of more than my training and demeanor. They didn’t magically appear in a sudden moment of need. They’d developed over years, nurtured though each life experience as well as through my faith and confidence in God’s goodness. I believe the Creator put nerves of steel in so many people on Flight 1380 that day.”

How true Tammie’s words are. Dwelling in the shelter of Jesus means we dwell in his goodness and we believe it. When the day of testing comes, we are ready- because we know he is ready. We also know he will give his angels charge over us as Psalm 91 says.

Even though the plane landed safely, the passenger who was sucked out of the window, died of her injuries. The death of Jennifer Riordan would be mourned by Tammie, the crew and passengers. Tammie shares that it was hard to be both happy and sad at the same time- happy they landed safely, yet sad because a passenger lost her life.

Dwelling in the promises of Psalm 91 doesn’t mean we will never have trouble. It doesn’t mean we will never face tragedy, or even death. What it means is that when perilous times come, we have the Savior to help us navigate the dark waters, or in this case fly the plane.  It is imperative that we rely on HIS STRENGTH, HIS MERCY and HIS GRACE to see us through. This is how we BRACE OURSELVES for anything that comes. 

There will come a day when you feel like the life has been sucked out of you.  Your engine will burst and it will feel like you are in a free fall. You may even fall into the enemy’s trap. Meditating on the promises of Psalm 91, however, you will remember verse 13 and 14 which says, “I will trample the great lion and the serpent. Because Jesus loves me, he will rescue me.”

Sometimes the rescue is helping guide you to the right choice, or helping you endure the situation. It may be granting you the wisdom and discernment to battle dark forces that have threatened your family and livelihood.  Other times, it will be a literal rescue where you know God sent his angels to deliver you from trouble.

JESUS HAS NERVES OF STEEL

The time will come when we will need nerves of steel. But, truthfully it is not our nerves that are made of steel- IT IS HIS.

Tammie Jo stayed calm and collected even as the situation around her unraveled. Yes, experience helped her with this, but ultimately it was her confidence in God that kept her going. In her moments of need she called out to him.  She started her day by asking him to guide her. She placed her passengers’ lives into his hands. Even when one passenger perished, she leaned on him to sustain and comfort her. In the end, it is God’s peace that must satisfy us. 

Isaiah 26 describes this peace beautifully. Even though the nation of Israel was under judgement and their ways had drifted far from God, there were those who felt perfect peace. They were the remnant who loved God- they loved his laws and his ways. They trusted in Him, not themselves. 

 “We have a strong city; God makes salvation its walls and ramparts.  Open the gates that the righteous nation may enter, the nation that keeps faith. You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal.  He humbles those who dwell on high, he lays the lofty city low; he levels it to the ground and casts it down to the dust.  Feet trample it down—the feet of the oppressed, the footsteps of the poor. The path of the righteous is level; you, the Upright One, make the way of the righteous smooth. Yes, Lord, walking in the way of your laws we wait for you….” Isaiah 26:1-8 (NIV).

Even when calamity awaits us, we can have perfect peace when we focus on him. We can surely say, “Lord, you establish peace for us,” (Isaiah 26:12 NIV).

It’s quite easy for me to picture Jesus in the story of Flight 1380 as a I imagine the plane flying through the air. Most plane rides I’ve been on have some turbulence, though definitely not as much as Flight 1380! But, in life turbulence will come.

It’s not if– it’s when.

We can fear it, or we can give control over to the one who pilots our lives. In this plane we call life, we are constantly flying, thinking we have the controls in our hands. Truthfully, we can relax on the auto-pilot because we abide under his wings. That’s the smoothest flight we can ever take.  

There’s a time coming when our money may be sucked out the window and it will not come back. Jennifer Riordan didn’t know her life would end that day. She did not expect the turn of events that unfolded. The passengers didn’t know what was coming either. But there was a capable, caring pilot and co-pilot, as well as a crew who knew what they were doing. They didn’t panic. They didn’t give up. They saved lives.

How much more do you think your Heavenly Father is capable of doing? The sky is the limit.

In the Bible, the word brace is translated as “to gird up your loins.” This refers to when soldiers wore long tunics, but before battle they had to hoist it up and tie it in a knot. Then, they would have unhindered mobility to fight the enemy. Thus, it meant to get ready for war.

Jeremiah 17: 17-19 says:

“Thou therefore gird up thy loins, and arise, and speak unto them all that I command thee: be not dismayed at their faces, lest I confound thee before them. For, behold, I have made thee this day a defenced city, and an iron pillar, and brasen walls against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, against the princes thereof, against the priests thereof, and against the people of the land. And they shall fight against thee; but they shall not prevail against thee; for I am with thee, saith the Lord, to deliver thee.”

1 Peter 1:13 says:

“Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”

In the God’s Word translation this same scripture is translated:

“Therefore, your minds must be clear and ready for action. Place your confidence completely in what God’s kindness will bring you when Jesus Christ appears again.”

The sky is getting darker and the days are getting longer. But our Savior has a word for you!

Brace yourself to the CROSS! Brace yourself with his power and strength. Brace yourself with his Word! Even if the plane goes down, you will be SOARING ON HIS WINGS………. Behold, HE IS COMING SOON!!!!!

Sources:

Nerves of Steel by Captain Tammie Jo Shults ( there is a Young Reader’s Edition of this book as well)- the book is amazing, inspirational and a must read for adults and teens!

Highest Duty: My Search for What Really Matters by Captain Chesley Sully Sullenberger

For more about the brace position, check out this link

If you are interested in finding out more about Tammie Jo and Nerves of Steel, click on this link

Here is an article about the 10 year anniversary of Miracle on the Hudson

Holy Bible: KJV and NIV

pictures from Flight 1549 from Wikipedia Commons

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