Flying Through a Terrible Storm

by Bill Bright

Ladies and gentlemen, please remain in your seats and keep your seat belts fastened. We should be out of the storm in a few moments." The calm voice over the intercom was hardly reassuring as our Pan Am 707 jetliner pierced the fury of a storm during our flight from New York to Washington, D.C. The sky flashed as lightning forked its tongue seemingly just inches away from the plane. Swirling winds tore at the plane's metal skin, and the aircraft bounced and shuddered in the turbulence, like a leaf in a windstorm. I gripped Vonette's hand and turned to look at her strained face. "I don't know how much longer the plane can endure this storm without breaking into pieces," I said. The 707 began to twist-first to the right, then to the left-in the increasing fury. The shaky laughter around me faded into an eerie silence, broken only by the calm voice of the flight attendant. Through the windows we could see the wings flapping almost like those of a giant bird struggling frantically against a violent downdraft. Vonette leaned toward me, and I felt the gentle pressure of her hand entwined in mine. Softly, we began praying, our words flowing together in supplication to our precious Savior. Convinced that our aircraft could not survive the turbulence much longer, I tenderly said goodbye to my dear Vonette and she to me. Then, together, we told our wonderful Lord that we were ready to meet Him if He desired. Suddenly, I thought of how the Lord Jesus had calmed the winds and water on the sea when His disciples feared that their boat would capsize during another violent storm. Knowing His power and love for all His children, I prayed aloud, "Lord, you are the God of all creation. You control the laws of nature. You quieted the storm on the Sea of Galilee. Quiet this storm!" Immediately the rain and turbulence stopped! Vonette stared at me in amazement, then smiled slightly. "Now, why didn't we pray that prayer earlier?" I squeezed her hand and grinned back. You can be sure that Vonette and I continued to thank and praise the Lord for hearing our prayers and saving our lives. We learned later that the lightning had knocked a huge hole in the fuselage near the cockpit, destroying all the radar equipment. The pilot said this was the most violent storm he had ever experienced in millions of miles of flying. Let us always remember to pray God's Word, not just times of danger.
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