Did you notice the panic in the streets? Did you observe the chaos in business and pleasure? At one moment, we are sipping a banana fudge latte at Starbucks, and the next we are running in filthy alleys ahead of the death cloud.
The wealthy Wall Street stockbroker bumping elbows with the bridge-dwellers. In a panic, young men leap from the 91st floor. Terror-stricken women freeze in horror as tons of concrete and steel fall from the sky. Mighty men of valor perish while on a heroic rescue mission.
Terror-stricken women freeze in horror as tons of concrete and steel fall from the sky. Mighty men of valor perish while on a heroic rescue mission. In the air, planes piloted by crazed terrorists steer their horrified human cargo into eternity. Demon-inspired pilots of mass destruction replaced the true pilots of authority. Someone wake us from this nightmare!
In the storm of failing hearts and falling architecture, comes the question: Who is your pilot? Who is guiding your fragile existence? Your ticket may be stamped, but your pilot determines your destination.
Years ago, Edward Hopper wrote:
“Jesus, Saviour, Pilot Me
Over life’s tempestuous sea;
Unknown waves before me roll,
Hiding rock and treach-‘rous shoal;
Chart and compass came from Thee
Jesus, Saviour, pilot me.”
Now, a new century begins. But the old terrors persist. Too many hijacked lives have met disaster. Pilots of terrorism have taken the innocents with them. Are we able to find hope in terror? How shall we reach our chosen destination? The Scriptures want to remind us that we have a qualified Pilot available! Further, we can be safe in the Pilot’s Palm. God keeps and protects His children. In the times that stagger the human mind, the God of Peace is there. We are to trust and receive His benefits.
In Isaiah, Israel has been hijacked to Babylon. For 70 years they have been captives in a land of ungodly terrorists, which later became Persia and now is Iraq. Many died. Why? They had chosen another pilot for their lives. Terror always follows rejecting the King of Kings. In Isaiah 49:14, the people accused God of forsaking and forgetting them. How distorted! The opposite was true. The people left God, and He knew it.
Now, here is the delicious reality in the Words of the true God. “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me” (Isaiah 49:15-16 NIV). Think about the implications. Consider the inference for Believers if God is our Pilot. We are in the palms of God’s hands!
There are four distinct benefits in the Pilot’s Palm:
“But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you” (Psalm 5:11 NIV). In the wake of the attack on New York and the Pentagon, Americans demanded more protection. Pilots wanted personal handguns. Passengers wanted more stringent security checks and sky marshals on flights. Crop dusters were grounded. Tweezers were banned on airplanes.
Our God has assured Believers that He can take care of us. His protection was in the fiery furnace (Daniel 3) and in the Lion’s Den (Daniel 6). A frightened king prayed when the enemy was about to overwhelm his people: “For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” (2 Chronicles 20:12 NIV).
It is no different today. The only reliable protection comes from the Lord of the Universe. He alone stands able to defend us from the terrors of life. Are you living in fear today? Can you relate to Psalm 31:13 NIV? “For I hear many whispering, ‘Terror on every side!’ They conspire against me and plot to take my life.” You can arm yourself with modern weapons, and still be afraid. There is a better way. Remember, you are in the Pilot’s Palm. Jesus taught in John 17:11 NIV, “Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one.” There is protection in the Name of Jesus. Rest in the truth.
Why would people hate Americans enough to unleash unprecedented acts of terror? Research proves that many envy the life of abundance that Americans take for granted. Billions of people worldwide exist day to day in search of nourishment and shelter. Yet, in America, we have so much that our trashcans and garbage dumps are filled to capacity. Garage sales provide proof that the things we buy do not satisfy. We are never satisfied with the abundance of things.
“Gold there is, and rubies in abundance, but lips that speak knowledge are a rare jewel” (Proverbs 20:15 NIV). Does that sound like a commentary of the 21st Century? Solomon knew wealth and the horrors they bring. “The sleep of a laborer is sweet, whether they eat little or much, but as for the rich, their abundance permits them no sleep” (Ecclesiastes 5:12 NIV). Insomnia grips the wealthiest nation of history. What’s the problem?
Jesus knew the answer. “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions” (Luke 12:15 NIV). Greed. It’s more than a game. It has become the motive of all businesses. But Jesus knew this monster of greed couldn’t ever be satisfied. We are to be rich toward God. We are to covet the abundance of spiritual wealth in our lives. And God can abundantly satisfy all of your requirements. God reminds us of His provisions in Jeremiah 33:6 NIV, “I will heal my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security.”
As the fires burned on the highest floors of the World Trade Center, people were making assessments of their situation. Sensing a catastrophe, choices had to be made. Stay or run. Help the injured or save yourself. Call home or grab important papers. As the fires burned hotter, one couple came into deadly agreement. Together, they scrambled to huge plate glass windows long since broken out. Hand in hand they stepped out into eternity as millions watched around the world.
Human love is powerful. The love a mother has for their child is a strong bond. No one would ever doubt maternal love. Yet, in Isaiah 49:15-16 NIV, God asks, “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.” God loves us more than we can imagine. More than Mom! Have you ever seen a tattoo with an arrow through a heart? It may say, “I love Mom.” Tattoos have found new popularity. What was once reserved for sailors, WFL wrestlers, and sideshow barkers, has become popular in the mainstream.
The risks include infection, removal problems, allergic reactions, granulomas, keloid formation, and MRI complications. This leads me to an unusual question: Does God Have Tattoos? Sounds impossible, but listen to Isaiah 49:16 in the Living Bible – “I have tattooed your name upon my palm!” Divine tattoos of Love. The truth is, God loves you so very much. “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39 NIV) In the Pilot’s Palm is infinite love for His child.
Have you ever seen a miracle of God? What was it like? Can you explain a miracle of God? In God’s hand are mighty miracles. This gives us hope in these last days of chaos, confusion, and terrorism. Elymas the sorcerer, had to deal with the hand of God in terror. The Apostle Paul said in Acts 13:11 NIV, “Now the hand of the Lord is against you.” Acts 11:21 NIV informs us that the results of evangelism depend on God’s favor – “The Lord’s hand was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord.”
Moses made clear where the strength of Godly people originates when he explained the success of the first Passover: “In days to come, when your son asks you, ‘What does this mean?’ say to him, ‘With a mighty hand the LORD brought us out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery'” (Exodus 13:14 NIV).
Believers know that authority and blessing are in the hand of God. “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time” (1 Peter 5:6 NIV). Jesus taught that we are safe in the hand of God. “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand” (John 10:27-29 NIV).
But a most powerful verse of comfort and strength is found in Revelation 1:17 NIV, “When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he (Jesus) placed his right hand on me and said, ‘Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last.'” Yes, there are terrors of the age, big and small. But our God can work mighty miracles of protection and provision that enables Believers to make it through.
Find comfort in Psalm 91:5-7 NIV: “You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.”
Praise God, we are safe in the Pilot’s Palm. Trust God to be your salvation. When the earth falls around you, look to God who is more than able to deliver you.
Who is the pilot of your life? In this moment, I pray that you will give the controls of your fragile existence to the Maker and Keeper of the Universe. Let God be God in your life.
Are you in a good relationship with God? This can be done by placing your faith and trust in Jesus Christ. Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior? Being good is not enough. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV).
You can only be saved through the sacrifice Christ made for us on the Cross. “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18 NIV).
You cannot be saved through patriotism, economics, or heredity. Salvation is a personal commitment to God in the Name of Jesus. No one can do it for you or to you. “It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. (Jesus) is ‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the capstone.’ Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:10-12 NIV). That’s a hard saying, but true.
Here’s some good news. If you will call on the Name of the Lord Jesus, you will be saved! “for, ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved'” (Romans 10:13 NIV).
Ask God to Pilot your life. Then, you can enjoy the ride!
We will conclude with this powerful truth: “Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10).
“Safe in the Pilot’s Palm,
Refreshed in the Heavenly calm,
No doubt can remain,
There’s too much to gain,
I’m safe in the Pilot’s Palm!”