NOSE DIVE FAITH

I was the pilot, the engine power was at zero, we were losing altitude. I had a very short time to react, and if I wanted to stay alive, I’d better make the right decisions. True Story, and a great lesson.

Before I tell you about my engine crisis at 10,000 feet, welcome to “Mornings with Bishop Robert” — I’ll bet you’re glad you can join me here instead of being in the aircraft I was flying.. My goal is to introduce people to the Jesus they never knew, and help them get to know Him and His word personally – and better ! If our time together today speaks to your heart, then let me invite you to like, subscribe and share it with a friend!

You may not have known that I hold a private pilot’s license, because it’s been some years since I’ve been the pilot-in-command of anything. The incident I’m referring to occurred while I was training for my pilot’s license. I was flying along doing the normal sorts of things we did during a lesson when my instructor reached forward and pushed the throttle to zero. “You’ve just ‘lost’ your engine. What do you do?”

First, let me tell you that I had read about what one does if they lose an engine. There’s a procedure to be followed. You switch your radio to the international emergency frequency. You broadcast a “Mayday” with your position, altitude and the amount of fuel in your tanks. (That’s so they know how many fire trucks to roll towards your crash site.) But once that’s been done, you immediately have to begin scanning the ground below you to find as safe a place as possible to put down the aircraft. Optimal choices would be a road or a very flat field; but you don’t always have optimal choices available.

Second, let me tell you that READING about handling an emergency and ACTUALLY HANDLING ONE are two very different things indeed. Let’s just say that my first attempt at surviving a lost engine wouldn’t have gone as well as one would hope. But my instructor was there, kept me alive and made me do it again and again until I got it right.

Today’s verse says TRUST IN THE LORD WITH ALL YOUR HEART

“BLUF” is a military acronym for “Bottom Line Up Front.” Many military communications in the intelligence world begin with “BLUF:” and are followed by the most succinct sentence the data can be compressed into. It’s not designed to be kind or graciously worded; it is exactly what it says. So, for example, I got a message on Sept 8 that began “BLUF: Queen Elizabeth is Dead.” Multiple paragraphs followed with details, but the BLUF put everything one needed to know in four words.

So here’s the BLUF on today’s verse. “BLUF: God is trustworthy.” Of course there are more details. I could write for hours and hours about the how’s, the why’s and give more examples than anyone could possibly want to hear. But He’s trustworthy. He’s trustworthy when it looks like it and He’s trustworthy when it doesn’t. He’s trustworthy when you see the answer to your need appearing before your very eyes and He’s trustworthy when it appears that He’s disappeared.

Another pilot in training experience I’ve heard about comes from a pilot whose instructor told him to put the plane into a steep and extended dive. He was totally unprepared for what was about to happen. After a brief time the engine stalled, and the plane began to plunge out-of-control. It soon became evident that the instructor was not going to help at all. After a few seconds, which seemed like eternity, his mind began to function again and he was able to correct the situation and return to level flight — but at a MUCH lower altitude!

Immediately he turned to the instructor and began to vent his fearful frustrations on him. The response of the instructor was profound.

He very calmly said, “There is no position you can get this airplane into that I cannot get you out of. If you want to learn to fly, climb TO 10,000 feet and do it again.”

THAT, my friends, is the lesson we need to learn as we trust God, as well. Hear Jesus as He says to you, “Remember this. As you serve Me, there is no situation you can get yourself into that I cannot get you out of. If you trust me and do as I say, you will be all right.” I will tell you that I’ve proven that lesson true in my ministry many, many times over the years. I messed up in many of my “nose dive” situations, as I’m sure you will. But in each one I learned to trust a bit more and react better. My pilot instructor’s goal was to train me to the point where I could handle unforeseen emergencies myself. Thankfully, that’s NOT God’s goal, He never makes us handle things without Him, His grace and His strength. All we need to learn is the BLUF I shared earlier – “God is trustworthy.”

When your life is facing a “nose dive” situation you have to determine who you want to be the one calling the shots. Just remember, TRUST IN THE LORD WITH ALL YOUR HEART – and follow His instructions.

It’s time to learn to fly.

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