Flight 1549 - 10 Years Later

Author: Pastor Joseph Khabbaz
January 10, 2019


"Miracle on the Hudson!" These words have come to refer to US Airways Flight 1549 that glided into the Hudson River after losing all its engine power.  January 15, 2019, will mark ten years since Flight 1549 made its unprecedented emergency landing on the icy river that served as a makeshift runway. I recently caught a flight back to Maryland from Sydney, Australia. Christina and I had the chance to sit on an exit row, which we were thrilled about since our flight was 17 hours long. The exit rows are some of the most coveted seats on the plane and people will happily spend extra for the convenience of additional legroom. With such convenience comes responsibility and that's when I listened even more intently to the flight crew as they demonstrated the safety procedures. It would be my responsibility to open the exit door in case of an emergency, so I paid particular attention to the laminated safety card under my seat in order to know what to do, yet at the same time I prayed that there would never be a reason for the exit to command special attention.

Have you ever caught a plane and noticed people paying very little to no attention to the safety procedures that have been memorized and recited by the flight crew? It's not unusual to see people on their cell phones during the safety announcements, flipping through the airline's magazine to find what movies will be playing on the flight, or looking at the menu to see what kind of food will be on offer. A passenger might say to themselves, "Who needs to know this safety stuff, I've heard it's safer to fly in a plane than drive a car."

According to Michelle Higgins, a reporter for the New York Times, one of the main reasons that passengers on Flight 1549 were able to escape was because a man (previously identified as Josh), followed the instructions printed on the emergency exit row card. Higgins goes on to say that Josh stepped in when one of the survivors tried to pull the exit door in, and Josh came and said, "No, you’ve got to throw it out."

I believe we all need a Josh in our lives when we are facing an emergency, that person who read the instructions and knows exactly what to do when facing a crisis. I can't help but think that Josh's name was short for Joshua which means - God is my salvation.

Whenever we feel the plane of our lives is going down, do not be afraid. Jesus is with you and He knows what to do. He not only memorized the safety procedures but He wrote the emergency manual - the Scriptures. If you’re feeling anxious, He says in Philippians 4:6, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." If you are experiencing hurt and anger from others He says in Luke 6:27, "But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you," and when you feel hopeless and all is lost He tells us in Psalms 43:5, "Why am I so sad? Why am I so troubled? I will put my hope in God, and once again I will praise him, my savior and my God."

As there was a miracle on the Hudson river ten years ago, God promises that there can be a miracle in your life in 2019 - He's the God that still saves! He doesn't promise a smooth ride, but He does promise a safe arrival.

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