Flight 1549 took off normally on January 15, 2009, with Captain Sullenberger and over 150 people on board. The plane was climbing after take-off when it hit a flock of birds, knocking out both engines. The co-pilot was handling the take-off until that moment. Immediately after the birds knocked out the engines, Captain Sullenberger used the proper protocol and said to his co-pilot, “My aircraft.” The co-pilot immediately responded, “Your aircraft.”
What if Captain Sullenberger had glanced at the gauges and said, “It’s hopeless!”? Well, he didn’t do that. In an interview later he said, “I knew I had to solve this problem. . . . I was sure I could do it.” He had flown in the military, had been flying commercial aircraft for many years, and had trained other pilots how to deal with emergency situations. He said, “As it turned out my entire life up to that moment had been a preparation to handle that particular moment.” Captain Sullenberger had hope, and that hope helped to land the plane on the Hudson River without loss of life.
When asked later why this story had so enthralled the public, Captain Sullenberger said, “Something about this episode has captured people’s imagination. . . . I think they want good news. I think they want to be hopeful again.”
Yes, we all need hope! How can we find hope? How can we hold on to hope?
The plane was without power, falling from the sky in a steep glide. The pilot said to the co-pilot, “My aircraft.” The co-pilot responded, “Your aircraft,” and gave control to Captain Sullenberger, who was hopeful that he could land the plane — and it was his hope that put it safely into the Hudson.
We’re in a fallen, and falling, world. God says, in essence, “My world!” He comes to you and me, in the midst of what seems hopeless, and says to each of us, “My life!” What should be our response? “Your life!” That response, of turning our lives and our seemingly hopeless situations over to Him, is what gives us hope! Hold on to hope by holding on to God!
“Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him.” (Psalm 62:5)