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Trust

Trust Your Instruments

          Inside every airplane are instruments that are critical to flying the aircraft.  The instruments will give a true reading of how the aircraft is flying, even if a pilot's mind may tell him differently.  On a clear, sunny day a pilot may not need some of these instruments, but at night or in poor visibility, these instruments become vital to his survival.  Many planes have crashed because the pilot became disoriented and failed to trust his instruments.

          While attending Texas A&M, Jeff Patton and I became friends as members of the Corps of Cadets.  He is now Lt. Col. Jeff Patton and flew as an F-15 fighter pilot in Desert Storm.  On the first night of the war, his mission was to escort a large formation of fighters in bombing a chemical weapons plant in northern Iraq.  The date for Desert Storm was chosen because the absence of moonlight and the high clouds helped the attacking allied fighters from being detected by enemy defenses.  Flying in total darkness, the pilots became completely dependent upon their instruments.

          Shortly after crossing into Iraq, Col. Patton's jet was "locked on" to by an Iraqi surface-to-air missile radar.  He violently maneuvered his aircraft to break the radar's lock on him.  His maneuver successfully broke the lock, but it created a new problem.  Those radical movements in the dark threw off the balance in his inner ear (which is what happens when a person gets dizzy), causing him to become disoriented.

          His mind was telling him his plane was in a climbing right turn, but when he checked his instruments, they indicated he was in a 60 degree dive towards the ground!  He was sure he was in a climb instead of a dive, and his mind was screaming at him to lower the nose of his F-15 to halt the climb.  While his mind commanded him to correct the plane in one direction, his instruments instructed him to do just the opposite.  Because he was flying in total darkness, he had to decide quickly whether to trust his mind or his instruments.  His life depended on making the correct choice. 

          Even though it took everything within him to overcome what his mind was telling him, he decided to trust his instruments.  He rolled his wings level and pulled his F-15 upward, which drew seven times the force of gravity, pulling the aircraft out of its dive.  It only took a few moments to realize he had made the right decision.  If he had lowered the nose of his jet like his mind had been telling him, he would have crashed the plane.  Trusting his instruments saved his life!

          Immediately he looked at his altimeter, which told him the elevation of his aircraft.  He had narrowly escaped colliding into the mountains of Iraq by just 2,000 feet.  Although he had made the correct decision by trusting his instruments, he realized if he had delayed just three more seconds his plane would have crashed into the mountains.  Even right decisions can be wrong ones if they are made too late.

          God will guide the "instruments" inside our hearts through his Spirit, even though our minds may tell us to do just the opposite.  "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding" (Prov. 3:5)  (Kent Crockett, The 911 Handbook, Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2003, 17-18)



Trust Fills the Gap

The Lord doesn’t always let us in on what He’s doing. Trust fills the gap when we don’t understand. We must give the Father the benefit of the doubt.

(Kent Crockett, I Once Was Blind But Now I Squint, Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2004, 150)



At the End of Your Rope

During the 1930s, 250 men were holding the ropes to a dirigible (an airship similar to a blimp) to keep it from floating away. Suddenly a gust of wind caught one end of the dirigible, lifting it high off the ground.

            Some of the men immediately let go of their ropes and fell safely to the ground. Others panicked, clinging firmly to the end of their ropes as the nose of the dirigible arose to greater heights. Several men who couldn’t keep holding on fell and were seriously injured. One man, however, continued to dangle high in the air for forty-five minutes until he was rescued. Reporters later asked him how he was able to hold on to the rope for so long.

            “I didn’t hold on to the rope,” he replied. “I just tied it around my waist, and the rope held on to me.”

Instead of trying to hold on to God, let God hold on to you.

(Kent Crockett, I Once Was Blind But Now I Squint, Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2004, 138)

 



Cross Reference:

Going Through Dark the Dark Times

How to Get to Heaven


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