“As I spun out of control, I worried about blacking out from the sudden and unexpected G forces. I watched my console break and twist apart before me. My mind was outracing my ability to react. Flames from the exploding gas tank had found a crack between my oxygen mask and visor. They had also reached the back of my neck. Part of me was waiting for the cockpit to explode. Somehow, the heat and the pain and the insanity of the moment focused my thoughts. Dear God, I prayed, please don’t let me die now—don’t let me die from this. I gazed down, through the flames, and saw a fat yellow handle attached to my seat. The handle pushed up between my legs, bigger than life, staring at me like the miracle I took it to be. The beautiful words stamped across the top were impossible to miss, even in the fire and smoke: PULL TO EJECT. I had no idea how much time had passed since the missile had struck. In reality it had been only seconds. It felt like an eternity. I knew I wasn’t waiting much longer. For another microsecond, I worried that my damaged canopy wouldn’t open, or if it did, that the seat wouldn’t eject. But I really didn’t have time to worry. My left hand dropped down to the handle, and I pulled with all my might.”
The excerpt above is Captain Scott O’Grady’s account of what happened when he was shot down over Bosnia in June of 1995. While you and I may not be able to relate to being shot out of the sky, we sure can relate to life spinning out of control and the heat being turned up in life. Sometimes this comes in the form of an addiction, conflict in marriage, strained relationships with our kids or other loved ones, work and financial troubles, and the list goes on.
Have you tried looking for an “ejection handle” to your problems lately? Sometimes we can think that this handle comes in the form of divorce, taking your life, or simply running away. While these avenues may seem like a quick fix-they usually cause more problems and make the situation worse.
In June, 23 warriors from around the Unites States arrived at The Wilds in Ohio with a variety of dilemmas they were facing in life. These men learned that the Bible is full of Hope, especially when facing what may seem like insurmountable odds. Isaiah 40:31 says, “but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” How is that for an ejection handle? When we place our hope in the Lord we find the strength to persevere and endure. Our problems do not identify us-unless we let them. However, when we put our hope in the Lord, we can overcome any obstacle. We were able to see this promise lived out firsthand when these men took their eyes off their problems and put their hope in the Lord. They were able to obtain one of the greatest gifts God has to offer-Hope! Whatever you may be facing today, take your eyes off of your problems and put your hope in the Lord. The promise in Isaiah 40:31 assures us that we will be able to not only persevere, but keep moving in the right direction-forward.
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