Thinking back it’s amazing that we went to sleep at all, I can only think my mother and father must have been praying for us at that time. My Aunt had been looking after us for 2 weeks while my folks were away on an incentive business trip my Dad had won. They were on their way back that night, we knew that much, it was 8pm news and then off to bed, excited to see my folks after a long time away. Only… the news said that the last SAA flight out of Mauritius tonight, the Helderberg… didn’t make it, the news reporter read, so matter of factly:
“a Boeing 747 Combi named Helderberg, experienced a catastrophic in-flight fire in the cargo area, broke-up in mid-air, and crashed into the Indian Ocean east of Mauritius, killing all 159 people on board.” I think all I heard was catastrophic and my head started to spin, I was only in primary school, but these plane crashes weren’t common and when you heard them immediately announce catastrophic, there was no hope.
Firstly, in our household of 6 silence was a rare commodity… not tonight… stunned silence fell over our home, hearts and minds. My Aunt was amazing, because she routinely put us in bed and we went to sleep… still not knowing…
When we woke up in the morning, no, it had not been a mistake, that flight had gone down, my parents though they had to turn their plane back. They had been on the next flight out, their engine’s had caught alight but the pilot, aware of the previous disaster had instantly turned back. My folks were late, but they were safe. Relief, that part of the heart that had been holding it’s breathe for 12hours was now breathing and with excitement again! My parents were coming home.
When they returned my mother told us that even with her tremendous fear of heights she was not afraid. She said just as they were taking off the Lord showed her that without His angels carrying the wings of the plane they wouldn’t be able to take to the air at all. She literally saw the angel carrying the plane… moments later… she would need that same confirmation as the pilot called everyone to their seats and informed them of the need to return. Passengers all over the plane asked my folks to pray, what an opportunity for our King to have His way!
You see, we serve the one who creates the wind, Amos 4:13
‘He who forms the mountains, who creates the wind, and who reveals His thoughts to mankind, who turns dawn to darkness , and treads on the heights of the earth – the Lord Almighty is His Name.’ – Amos 4:13 NIV
We serve the God who “walks on the wings of the wind” Ps 104:3 KJV
You see my parents instilled such a deep knowing and trust in our Living God and that ‘the angels of the Lord are encamped around those fear him, and He delivers them.’ Ps 34:7 NIV This I think was part of ‘the peace of God, that surpasses all understanding’ that night that carried us through to the morning when we had news of my parents safe return.
Father, I pray in Your heavenly Name, abundance and provision, that You would give us the wisdom and discretion to teach and lead our little ones in service and constant trust in You. For You, Father God, hold the earth in the palm of Your hand, You sit on the circle of the earth, You created the wind and most of all ‘You give breathe unto Your people’ according to Is 42:5 and ‘You give strength and power to Your people.’ according to Ps 68:35. We pray You give us these, Father God, to teach and lead our children to build their faith in and through and on You, the rock of our salvation. Thank You Lord, God, Amen