2 Peter 1:19
Because of that experience, we have even greater confidence in the message proclaimed by the prophets. You must pay close attention to what they wrote, for their words are like a lamp shining in a dark place—until the Day dawns, and Christ the Morning Star shines [ Or rises.] in your hearts. [ NLT ]
There must be an amazing supernatural association between everything in life. If only we could see all the lines of connection between one event and the next, it would be more than enough to convince the biggest skeptic that there truly is a God.
Yesterday I had a song stuck in my head -- "Fifteen" by Greg Long. It had played early in the morning on my ipod, and all day long it kept repeating over and over in my mind. My husband and I first fell for Greg's music over 17 years ago when Greg was a young singer from South Dakota traveling with an evangelist named Lowell Lundstrum. They had a short stay in Great Falls, Montana, where we were living, and on a spur of the moment they decided to stop by the U.S. Air Force Base where a young fighter pilot, my husband Captain Duey Kautzmann, was happy to give them an impromptu personal tour. Duey also had ties to the Lundstrum Crusade because, as a 14-year-old teenager, he had attended one of the gatherings with his mom, and it was then that Duey asked Jesus into his heart. During the base tour, Duey mentioned to Greg that his baby niece was getting dedicated at a local church on Sunday and that they would be honored if he would sing. Greg humbly agreed. It was a heartfelt ceremony that touched all of those in attendance that Sunday morning as well as the visiting family members. Ever since then, Greg has been one of our favorite singers, and the song I was singing yesterday is a great lyrical story about how it takes "fifteen times" to talk to someone about Jesus before they accept Him into their heart.
As I was singing away in India, Duey was flying away to Russia. He and his co-pilot, Birdy, were taking the Chairman to a convention in Moscow in the Gulfstream G-200. The plane had just come out of repairs so there was some elevated sense of expectation that something might go wrong and the 2-man crew was leaving no detail unnoticed. They had stopped mid-way in Turkmenisbad (or something like that) and had refueled during a one-hour stop. Things were working well even up to the landing stage entering Moscow's airspace when they asked for weather and were told to expect "severe icing in the clouds." Well, they had to go thru the dense cloud layer on their descent and as expected on the other side of those clouds, they had icing. When Birdy called for flaps, they budged ever so slightly and then froze mid-stream. The two pilots decided to do a no-flap landing and altered their descent while calling, on cue, for the landing gear. With eyes on the monitors, they watched -- one green light, two green lights. Why not the third? There was no sign of the right wing landing gear. Duey recycled the gear, up and down in 30 second intervals, while Birdy was approved by tower to make a go-around. They were thinking that the icing would be eliminated by the thermal layer below the clouds, and being that they were flying into Russia in the winter at night, they had contingency planned with extra fuel. But no amount of gas would help without a third landing gear. Without it they would have to suck up all gear and make an emergency landing on their belly. Calmly but with a keen sense of emergency, Duey continued to cycle the gear...14 times...then 15....when success--3 greens! Crisis averted -- or rather Christ-averted!
How often do we give up on someone or something because we feel it's a hopeless cause? It may take "fifteen times" of telling someone about the saving grace of Jesus Christ. If we approached each personal mission with a sense of urgency then we would impact others knowing that life -- eternal life -- depended on it. Christ came so that we would have eternal life. In short, He landed and took off, but He will will return on cue for those who put their faith and trust in Him. I for one want to see that green light when it comes time for my heavenly landing.
Don't give up on someone. Keep trying and keep the faith.
You might be the fifteenth time.
Dear Heavenly Father, You are the wings on which we will soar both here on Earth and into eternity. Thank you for your saving grace. Continue to guide each of our heart, soul and mind to know you personally and share your message with others so they, too, can experience the love and eternal blessing. Amen