Pastor Tim Richards Mug

Pastor Tim Richards

I love the personal story David Moore shared in Guidepost Magazine many years ago. His pilot friend, Henry Gardner, agreed to fly him to Asheville, North Carolina, in his Cessna. After leaving Victoria, Texas, the two stopped in Jackson, Mississippi, to fix a malfunctioning radio. After it was repaired they continued their trip. As they neared their destination they encountered fog so thick the Asheville air traffic controller refused to let them land. He suggested they fly to Greenville.

When Henry informed him that they did not have enough fuel to reach Greenville, they were given permission to make an emergency landing. The pilot had just lowered the plane’s nose when an abrupt, “Pull up!” came over the radio. The pilot pulled back hard on the stick and the plane barely cleared an overpass on the interstate!

The reassuring voice on the radio said, “If you listen to me, I’ll show you how to get back in.” This calm encouragement was followed by careful, detailed instructions: “Raise it up.” “To your left a little.” “Easy, easy.” And finally, “You’re nearing the runway. Let it down—now!” Suddenly runway lights appeared through the fog and Henry landed the plane without further incident. As the Cessna rolled to a stop, the men breathed a huge sigh of relief. Before getting out of the plane they thanked God for his divine protection.

After calming down Henry and David were given permission to personally thank the steady air traffic controller for his perfect instructions. However, he said, “I don’t understand, I lost contact with you after I told you to make an emergency landing. Your radio sputtered, and you were gone.”

Who was on the radio that day? If we are honest, we must admit we do not know. Was it an angel? The Bible addresses that possibility when it says, “Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it.” (Hebrews 13:2, NLT)

We do not know if an angel guided the men to safety that foggy night, however, we do know God was involved. Freedictionary.com defines a miracle this way, “An event that appears inexplicable by the laws of nature and so is held to be supernatural in origin or an act of God.” What happened that night certainly qualifies.

The appreciative men did not have to know how God rescued them to be grateful that he did… and we do not have to fully grasp how God is at work in our lives to appreciate the fact that he is. David Moore and Henry Gardner experienced God’s help on that foggy night. Though it is rarely obvious, I am convinced God is always at work in and around us.

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