Heathdale flower 05th September 2019

In Amazing Hands

'Sully' saved 155 passengers when he parked his plane in the Hudson River. They were in safe hands. So are we.

Heathdale flower

One of my favourite pastimes is to watch a good movie and I typically reach for one based on a true story. I recognise that Hollywood routinely embellishes the truth to help broaden the appeal of the movie, but if the storyline is essentially factual, for me the movie has a greater appeal. One I can watch over and over again is ‘Sully’.

‘Sully’ is based on the events that took place on January 15, 2009, when Captain Chesley ‘Sully’ Sullenberger made an emergency landing in New York's Hudson River after the plane was struck by a flock of geese.

Miraculously, all 155 passengers and crew survived this harrowing ordeal, and instantly Captain Sully became a national hero in the eyes of the public and the media. Yet despite all the roars and applause, Sully had to face an investigation that threatened to destroy his career and reputation.

Prior to his heroic save, Captain Sully had a distinguished career in the Air Force and as a commercial pilot. Not only had he flown in excess of 20,000 commercial hours, he had also served as a trainer, an investigator and as a flight consultant for NASA.

Despite this distinguished career, the aircraft investigators took the view that Captain Sully had other options than to try and make an emergency landing in the Hudson River. As part of their investigation, the panel considered possible alternatives Sully could have taken instead of landing in the Hudson. Several scenarios were considered and modelled using simulators that were piloted by other similarly-experienced aircraft captains.

Now if you haven’t seen the film, ‘Spoiler alert’ here:

Initially, two of the other modelled simulations suggested that Sully did have other options that would not have posed so great a risk for the passengers and crew by landing in the Hudson. However, after a series of questions posed by Sully himself, the simulations proved to flawed and inaccurate, therefore totally exonerating Sully’s decisions.

The final conclusion that the panel reached was “had it not been for a calm, capable pilot in the cockpit – a trained and experienced Air Force pilot – things could have been tragically worse.” One of the newspaper headlines screamed out ‘In Amazing Hands’.

The headline reminds me of Psalm 31, in which David reflects on his circumstances. As he does, David reveals that he knows about the Lord’s amazing, caring, loving hands! That’s why he could confidently say in verse five, “Into your hands I commit my life.”

David believed that the Lord could be trusted even when life got challenging and precarious. At the time of writing Psalm 31 David is being pursued and targeted by unfriendly forces, life was extremely challenging and uncomfortable for him!

Though feeling vulnerable, David was not without hope. Amid such circumstances, David could breathe sighs of relief and rejoice because he knew his faithful loving God was the basis of his hope and confidence.

Each of us can have times when we feel like things are coming at us from every direction, and it’s in these moments that it’s nigh impossible to see what’s ahead.

If there is one thing David reminds us of through Psalm 31, it’s that even in the midst of uncertainty, confusion and chaos, there’s one certain thing: those who commit themselves into the hands of the Lord are in amazing, love-filled, caring, safe hands.

What a message of hope. What a blessed position to be in. What a powerful understanding for each of us to hold on to but not only for the tough and challenging moments in life but for each moment of each day, committing our life into the hands of our Lord.

The staff and I desire that we are seen as people who have a level of surety in our lives because we have committed ourselves into God’s hands.

Our prayer for you is that you too can experience this level of surety in your lives as we commit ourselves into God’s hands. May you allow this biblical truth to saturate your hearts, minds and soul.

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