Low visibility and strong winds had isolated First Lieutenant William Hatton and his crew from the rest of the squadron as he piloted the B-24D Liberator Bomber across the Mediterranean Sea from Naples toward their base in Benghazi, Libya. It was the night of April 4, 1943, and they were on the homeward stretch of their first mission together in the new Lady Be Good. The plane was low on fuel as the crew settled in for their long flight home. Suddenly, the instruments started acting weird. The ADF needle swung around, indicating that they had passed their base. This couldn't be! They weren't due home for hours. Lt. Hatton radioed the base saying that their instruments weren't working. He lowered the aircraft, hoping to catch a glimpse of the airport beacon at Benghazi or the flares that were being deployed for them. But unknown to them, their base was now many miles behind them. An unusually strong tailwind had sent them hurtling past their base hours ahead of schedule. Two hours later, the crew bailed out of the plane, which flew for another 16 miles before crashing into the Libyan desert. Not knowing where they were, the crew walked for days before finally dying from dehydration and exhaustion.

On our life mission, we also have instruments. As we look at the law that is found in the Bible, we can see how we are doing in our spiritual walk. At times, however, we don't like what we see. Scripture is very clearly telling us that we are wrong, but in our hearts, we feel like there must be some mistake. We feel like we are doing the right thing and it will be alright. But the Bible tells us, "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death" (Proverbs 14:12). Every time we stop trusting our instruments and start following our own inclinations, we are headed for a crash landing that leads to death. Will you follow your heart or trust the instruments?

Choosing to trust the instruments,

Pastor Sutherland

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