When you are chosen by God to do work for His kingdom, God will save you with His almighty hand.
I was the construction officer (the headquarters construction manager, not the field guy) and executive officer for a military construction engineering company in West Germany in 1978. One of our projects was near the East German and Czech borders. I had just flown there by helicopter to check on the guys, assess their needs, and distribute their payday cash. We were headed southwest toward our home in Karlsruhe, flying just below the seemingly ever-present clouds of Germany. I was listening in on the radio chatter through a spare headset.
When we took off from the tiny airfield near the construction site, we got to our cruising height and the load master, acting as co-pilot, shouted, “Hydraulic pressure zero!” The pilot shouted, “Hold on!” and calmly turned off the engine. Most people have no idea what “auto-rotoring into the ground” means. Even thrill seekers don’t want to know. A lot of people don’t live to describe it. When the engine stops, the propeller stops spinning, and you start spinning. Trees and stuff fly by in a blur and then you hit the ground very hard.
How did we survive? We landed in a rutabaga field about 10 rows from some German women who were picking rutabagas. They had finished our section of the field and the ground was freshly tilled and soft. We hit no trees or power lines on our way into the ground. The trees and power lines were usually the cause of death in those types of crash landings.
The first comedy: The German women looked up, shook their heads with a “dumb Americans” look on their faces and immediately went back to picking rutabagas. After the initial look-see, they ignored us.
Comedy 2: The load master climbed out, kicked the helicopter in the sweet spot. The pilot gave him a thumbs up. Then the load master walked around the helicopter to assess damage and then got back in, giving a thumbs up to the pilot. It was then that the pilot turned to tell me that when you lose hydraulic pressure, it does bad things to the helicopter. He had no choice but to turn off the engine. The hydraulic pressure gauge was stuck, and the swift kick allowed the gauge to unstick. We could now take off again.
Comedy 3 needs some setting up. The airfield that we had just left had a flight control officer nicknamed Elmer Fudd. He sounded just like him with the same speech impediment. When we climbed to a few hundred feet off the ground, so that we could again hear radio signals, I heard this frantic cry with tears in his voice, “Fwight Fwee Foah Two! Fwight Fwee Foah Two! Wheah ah you! Wheah ah you!” The pilot explained to ‘Elmer’ what had happened, and ‘Elmer’ explained that he thought we’d been shot down. You see, a nearby military weapons range was test firing live redeye missiles. Redeye missiles are heat seeking and if we flew too close, the missile would leave the intended target and shoot us down due to the large heat signature of a helicopter. Flight control had sent us toward the southeast and then turn southwest to avoid the danger, but ‘Elmer’ was afraid that he’d miscalculated.
This is how God works. Our normal flight path would have been over forest and probably a crash landing would have been fatal.
Praise the Lord. I lived to tell the tale. Maybe as you go to God in prayer today, think of how God has touched your life. Have you noticed when God had His protective hand on your life? And lift up a prayer of thanks. And don’t waste any second, third, or fourth chances.