Friday, March 2, 2012

Landing Gear Revived

I believe it was in 1989 that I took a late-night trip to see my father and stepmother. A friend gave me a ride to the airport. At the time it was Stapleton, before Denver International Airport was ever built. It may have been Thanksgiving time, but not sure.

Anyway, I had a layover in Las Vegas on my way to Los Angeles where I would be landing at LAX. It was supposed to put me into LAX at around 4:00 or 4:30 in the morning. Then, I was supposed to take a cab from the airport to my folk's house and find the key under the doormat to let myself in and climb into a ready-made bed awaiting me.

As it was, when the plane left Denver and was over the Rocky Mountains, I heard "Pray in the Spirit." I didn't pay it much mind and started to doze off to sleep. But as soon as I would, I heard that voice and those words again. Again, I didn't pay it much mind but prayed, "Lord, give your angels charge over this flight."

Then, as we approached Las Vegas, I was reminded to pray again. So I did, but with not much thought or effort. We landed fine in Las Vegas were there for a short time while we picked up and dropped off passengers. I was allowed to remain on the plane which I preferred to do as I didn't want to be enticed with slot machines.

Finally got back up into the air and heard this voice again with the same words, "Pray in the Spirit." I was a bit agitated by it. I argued that I wanted to sleep. But when I would doze off, again the voice came. I am trying to recall what I did then.

Suddenly, as we were approaching LAX, the captain came on with an announcement, but it was difficult to hear because of the cabin noise. It was an older plane and it wasn't built well for sound. It was a Boeing 737 200 which is probably not in any fleet anymore. So I tried to ask the flight attendant who was speaking with the passenger in front of me. She answered me in a disgruntled, impatient tone and said I will speak with you when I'm done with this man. So I waited.

In the meanwhile, while descending into LA, we suddenly went up again and turned around.

Then, she asked me what it was I wanted. I asked her what the captain had announced as I could not hear what he said. She explained that the landing gear was not working and we had to go back to Las Vegas to make an emergency land due to regulations at LAX. I said, "Oh. Thanks."

As we approached Las Vegas again, but this time from the West, several announcements were made by the flight crew about our soon descent. When I noticed that one of the flight attendants had tension in her voice, I requested of the flight attendant I had been speaking with if I could move to another seat and I pointed across the aisle where there was no one seated. She granted me permission.

I moved to another seat away from any other passengers and bowed my head and began to pray. I began to address the devil, commanding him to loose his hold on the aircraft. I told him he was forbidden to have a single flight crew member, passenger or piece of luggage. I spoke to him firmly in the name of Jesus.

I don't think it had been quite five minutes, and I heard the captain return to the PA system and announce that the landing gear appeared to be working and was in the locked position. We made our land within minutes and the arrived at the gate with everything intact, although there were flashing red lights around us.

At the time, I didn't have a full understanding of the extent of what was going on, but we had to deplane and wait for another plane to become available to board. It seemed like a long wait but I hesitated to call my family (before I ever had a cellphone) to inform them of the delay. I was intent to let them sleep.

Well, we finally boarded another plane and headed to LA. We arrived in tip-top shape with no events. On the moving walkway I heard a man telling his friend behind me about the incident and described emergency vehicles awaiting us on the runway. I turned around and asked, "Was that for us?"

He answered, "Yes, that it could have been very serious."

I exclaimed, "I didn't know."

So, I caught a cab and went to the folk's house. As soon as I arrived and put the key in the door, the door seemed to open by itself. My stepmother was on the other side with a look of horror on her face. She explained that she got up five minutes before to check on me and found the bed empty. She called the airline but they wouldn't give her any information. So I stayed up and told her the whole event. I explained that I hesitated to call because of not wanting to disturb anyone. She told me the airline had assured her that this was to be a nonstop flight. Oh well, as far as I know, I arrived in one piece.

But sometime later, my stepmother was about to take a trip somewhere, and she flies a lot, called me on the phone to tell me. I was clueless at the time as to why, until I got off the phone with her. She wanted prayer.

Had it not been for the power of prayer, I might have been incinerated to death, along with many others. Lesson learned: Do not underestimate the power of prayer, and obey the voice of the Holy Spirit.

However, looking back, I didn't know what landing gear was and I believe in some ways God blinded me from knowing everything so that I could pray without fear.

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