All In

Some 18 years ago I was skydiving with some friends.  One of my best friends David Carlson and I were waiting for the next load to go skydiving.  I was out in the field watching the load before us take off.  Well it never got off the ground, and it cart wheeled off the end of the runway and burst into flames.  David and I were a couple of the first ones to the burning wreckage.  Almost everybody miraculously had gotten out on their own. A good friend of my had broken his back and was paralyzed from the waist down and couldn’t feel to get out of his seat belt.  I crawled into the burning plane and helped him out of his harness that was hooked to the seatbelt and with the help of others dragged him about 20 feet away when another explosion ripped through the plane.  It was then that someone yelled that there was still a girl in the burning plane.  By now, smoke was pouring out the entirety of the side door and I took a deep breath closed my eyes and belly crawled underneath the flames and started feeling around on the floor for this missing girl.  After what was only a few seconds that seemed like an eternity, and finding no one, I suddenly felt as if somebody took an ice pick and stabbed me in the back of the hand.  At the same instant, I felt the Lord urging me to get out of there.  I crawled out and stumbled a few feet away where I could catch a clear breath, only to be blasted from behind by another explosion.  The missing girl was found wondering around in a field a couple of hundred feet away shaken up but safe.  Then somebody came up to me and exclaimed, “what is all this on the back of your jump suit.  Come to find out, it was plastic from the burning overhead consoles.  If any of you have ever seen plastic burn and melt, it drips down in burning droplets.  That was all over my back and what had landed on the back of my hand.  I have been asked and I have asked myself many times why I didn’t hesitate to crawl into a burning exploding plane.  I have come up with only one answer.  I couldn’t have faced the families of those people having said, well I had a chance to save your daughter or son and I didn’t take it.  Basically, no regrets.

Jude 1:20-25 But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit.   Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.  Be merciful to those who doubt; snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear– hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.  To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy–  to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen. (NIV)

Great clip from Titanic (just watch till 1:30 – after that it start to get cheesy)