In December of 2009, my Boeing 767 flight crew departed from Atlanta, Georgia enroute to Lagos, Nigeria with an estimated flight time of approximately ten hours.
Three hours after takeoff, I along with two other flight attendants, (let’s name them Sue and Ann), was serving passengers in the Business Class Section. We each had specific duties to accomplish within the duration of the flight. As the lead Flight Attendant, I was primarily responsible for making sure passenger meals were accounted for and prepared according to instructions provided by the caterers. One of the most essential tasks, was to always ensure that the ovens were functioning properly.
The first oven I turned on sounded very strange, so I opened the door only to discover that the heating element was suspiciously glowing and seemed to intensify while alternating colors of blue, red, yellow and orange. Immediately, I closed the door and sensed the level of the heat by pressing the back of my hands against the door. After three seconds, it was evident that the situation was dire!
Flight Attendants are trained to respond to EMERGENCIES such as these, and without hesitation the three of us activated the required PROCEDURES necessary to lessen the threat of serious consequences. INSTANTLY, I closed the vents to disrupt the oxygen flow and pulled the circuit breaker which disengaged the power. Sue quickly retrieved a chemical oxygen bottle and passed it to Ann who was standing between me and the oven. Ann skillfully opened the vents and pressed the discharge lever and dispersed the extinguisher’s contents into the oven. If Sue had given Ann a water bottle I would not be sharing this incident with you!
All aircrafts are equipped with a variety of emergency equipment, and each item is implemented for a specific type of crisis in flight. It is mandated by the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration), that all crew members KNOW the location and number of each piece, how to OPERATE it effectively, WHICH one to use for different types of scenarios, and WHEN to apply its use if necessary. Sue knew where the equipment was and thank goodness Ann was familiar with how it worked! The success of this challenge was because of the the TIMELY manner in which it was executed.
As we continue on life’s JOURNEY, we are sure to encounter emergencies. They are commonly known as trials and tribulations. Jesus told His disciples, “Here on earth you will have many trails and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” ( Matthew 16:33, NLT). We have to FIGHT to overcome situations and circumstances that seemingly cause us to lose hope by assuming the proper stance for the battle and being armed with the correct equipment which assures victory.
The Apostle Paul wrote to the church of Ephesus, concerning our weapons of defense when encountering spiritual warfare. He used the analogy of the suit of armor of the Roman soldier.
Ephesians 6:10-17, “A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all the strategies of the enemy. For we are not fighting against flesh and blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the BELT OF TRUTH and the BODY ARMOR OF GOD’S RIGHTEOUNESS. For shoes, PUT ON THE PEACE that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the SHIELD OF FAITH to stop the fiery arrows of the enemy. Put on SALVATION as your helmet and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the WORD OF GOD.” (NLT)
The EQUIPMENT to quench our battles, is outlined in this passage. When life starts a fiery trial, effectively IDENTIFY the threat and RESPOND by gathering every promise of God, as He instructs you on which piece of His armor is needed to grant undeniable success! We must KNOW the truth of God’s word and WHEN to use it to achieve optimum results. In doing so, we must rest in HIS peace and allow our Faith to keep us strong .THE HELMET OF SALVATION is the most crucial piece of armor for protection. All of the other armor would be useless if the soldier’s head and facial area were vulnerable. This is what empowers us to fight, for knowing that Jesus died to save us, protects us when we are weak.
Just to let you know how the flight ended to Nigeria, the eminent danger ended as we successfully got the situation under control. What occurred was an electrical “arc” in the oven which was a very strong power surge capable of causing a mid air disaster. We had no idea until a week later after the investigation took place. Furthermore, over 300 passengers arrived safely to their destination without being aware of what had taken place. Sue, Ann and I were awarded a CERTFICATE OF ACHIEVMENT , it read, “FOR EFFECTIVELY IDENTIFYING AND RESPONDING TO A SIGNIFICANT SITUATION AND ENSURING THE SAFTEY OF OUR PASSENGERS AND OPERATIONS, YOU ARE CREDITED WITH ‘SAVING THE DAY'”.
God will SAVE your day when you make use of all the essential promises He has given you and me to continue in faith on this journey together.
1 John 5:4, “And this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith”.