Sometimes a relentless desire to do something can be the Spirit of God prompting us to take a small step of faith.
That’s what Tammie Jo Shults, Captain of Southwest flight 1380, did in high school after she read the book Jungle Pilot, a book about the missionary pilot Nate Saint. She attended a lecture about aviation on vocation day, although she was the only girl in the room. Step one.
“In my heart, I hoped that God had given me an interest in flying for a reason. I had never touched an airplane, but I knew flying was my future,” according to the book Military Fly Moms by Linda Maloney.
Shults took another step of faith and enlisted in the Navy as a pilot, becoming one of the first female pilots to transition to tactical aircraft.
These small steps of faith led to God using Captain Shults to bring 148 of the 149 souls on board Southwest flight 1380 safely to the ground after her 737 aircraft suffered catastrophic engine failure and cabin depressurization that resulted in the death of one passenger and the emergency landing in Philadelphia.
Read more of her story in the Dallas Morning News and Christian Post. Listen to Captain Shults' composure in conversation with Air Traffic Control during the emergency.
I'm thankful for Captain Shults' skill as a pilot, her faith that kept her calm and focused, and the passion that led her to make flying her ministry.
What about you?
Have you sensed a passion to do something and wondered if it could be God’s will? The small steps you take toward your passion make change your life and the lives of others as well.
That’s what happened to Nehemiah. His small initial steps led to the heroic rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem described int he book of Nehemiah. On hearing of the state of Jerusalem while serving the King of Persia, Nehemiah knew something must be done and began to take several small steps of faith. He began by choosing to fast and pray about what was to be done. The king he served was responsible for the destruction Jerusalem recently experienced just as the city was beginning to rebuild after laying desolate 70 years.
The second small step was to search the scripture to see if he could determine God's will. On seeing God's repeated promises to restore the Jewish people to their land, he confessed the sin of the Jewish nation and asked God to intervene.
Third, he began to create a plan for what needed to happen, if the impossible happened and the king granted permission to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.
Fourth, what could have resulted in his execution, he kept his composure before the king, and ask permission to go personally to rebuild the walls.
Because Nehemiah took small steps of faith, the walls of Jerusalem were rebuilt in 52 days.