Walk By Faith, Not By Sight
I want to share with you this article that I read this week that blew me away...........


LONDON - A British pilot who was suddenly blinded by a stroke during a solo flight was talked safely down by a military pilot, the Royal Air Force said Friday.

Jim O'Neill asked for help after he was went blind 40 minutes into a flight from Scotland to southeastern England last week. The BBC reported that O'Neill, flying a small Cessna aircraft, lost his sight 5,500 feet in the air.

"It was terrifying," O'Neill said. "Suddenly, I couldn't see the dials in front of me."

The air force said in a news release that O'Neill initially believed he'd been "dazzled" by bright sunlight, and made an emergency call for help. He then realized that something more serious was happening, and said, "I want to land, ASAP."

RAF Wing Commander Paul Gerrard was just finishing a training flight nearby and was drafted in to help the stricken pilot.

Gerrard located the plane, began flying close to it and radioed directions.

"Landing an aircraft literally blind needs someone to be right there to say 'Left a bit, right a bit, stop, down,'" Gerrard said. "On the crucial final approach, even with radar assistance, you need to take over visually. That's when having a fellow pilot there was so important.

"The doctors have confirmed that he suffered a stroke from a blood clot, but he doesn't seem to have suffered any other ill-effects apart from losing his sight," Douglas O'Neill said. "He says he went blind very suddenly and then, once he'd got over the shock, was able to distinguish a bit of darkness and light."

In a recording posted to the BBC's news Web site, Gerrard gives O'Neill instructions - "a gentle right hand turn, please," is called for at one point - and he can be heard apologizing.

"You could hear the apprehension in his voice over the radio and the frustration he was experiencing," said radar controller Richard Eggleton. "I kept saying 'Are you visual?' and he would reply 'No sir, negative, I'm sorry sir.' He kept on apologizing.

With Gerrard talking him down, O'Neill's plane hit the runway and bounced up again, the RAF said. It did the same on the second touchdown. On the third, O'Neill was able to keep his plane on the ground.

"It's one of those things you might hear about happening in some sort of all-action film but it's hard to believe what they did," Douglas O'Neill said of the RAF. "They were just tremendous."

To me, this was a perfect example of walking by faith and not by sight and the struggles we go through as we exercise walking in faith.  This poor pilot LOST his SIGHT while in the air flying a plane!  Can you even fathom that happening to you?  But this man didn't give up and this RAF officer, who gently and calmly gave him directions, step by step, amazingly helped him land a plane safely. 

So many times we want the control, we want to use our eyes to lead the way and to make the decisions and guide ourselves rather than shut our eyes and allow God's will to be in charge.  To just close our eyes and listen to the Lord guide us in the right direction, step by step.  Trusting the Lord with ALL our hearts and leaning not on our own understanding, but in all our ways acknowledging Him so He can make our path straight, or so HE can land our plane safely!

In one of my classes last week, we practiced balance technique and did several exercises.   Once we mastered the move, I asked the class to do it with our eyes closed.  Although everyone had just done the move well, once the eyes closed, everyone stumbled, lost their confidence and few were able to finish the exercise.  Why did this happen?   Because once again, we had to place our trust ,not in our eyes, but in our faith and we are so trained in this world to operate by sight.

So how do we walk in faith?  Well, first, you have to decide do you walk in faith by experience or do you walk in faith by trust?  I will be the first to raise my hand wildly at the walking in faith by experience.  I admit that many times I do this!  It is the easiest way to walk, but you cannot succeed in life by going this route because you will always be walking with one eye open, never fully trusting God and never fully succeeding and reaching your goals in life.  If your faith is weak, remember that faith is built on God's Word.  Romans 10:17 says that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.  

What are you hearing around you daily?  Is it negative, ugly, tearing down words and people or are you surrounding yourself with positive, loving Godly words and people?  As you go through your week, I encourage you to listen to what is being said around you and the environment you are putting yourself in .  Close your eyes this week and practice walking in faith, trusting God in your decisions and allowing him to land your plane for you. :o)

We have designed Fit By Faith© to be a positive, encouraging, Godly environment for you to come and get away from the ugly world out there.  To exercise your body, mind and spirit so you can be ready to conquer that world out there!  We look forward to seeing you this week!

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