Our Biggest Battle

by Doug Batchelor

When I was first learning to fly, my flight instructor spent a day teaching me to do stalls. To stall an airplane means to bring it to the slowest speed you possibly can while still maintaining flight, then to build up air speed and regain control after the plane begins to drop. Mastery of this technique can help a pilot survive a possible emergency.

At one point while I was practicing these stalls, something happened that was a little out of the ordinary. The flight instructor had given me complete control of the plane. I pulled the power back and aimed the plane up until it was going slower and slower. Eventually the warning buzzer went off, but instead of the plane just nosing down and regaining speed, it nosed off onto the side and went into a spin.

To get a better picture of what was happening, just imagine yourself sitting behind the wheel of your car after you have been dropped from an airplane. It would be like driving toward the ground at 120 miles per hour while you're spinning in circles!

Well, my first reaction was to pull back. I had been taught to pull back on the yoke, or steering column, to make the plane go up. However, there wasn't enough air speed to get any reaction from the steering controls. With all of my strength I was pulling back--until I almost pulled the yoke out of the panel. We were only 3,000 feet in the air, and the ground was coming up fast. I didn't see my life flash before me, but I almost had a glimpse of my lunch!

Suddenly I heard my flight instructor calmly say, "Let go, Doug. Let go. I've got it!"

I didn't want to let go. What if he didn't know what he was doing? What if he killed us both? In those few seconds, I went through a tremendous struggle. Could I trust my flight instructor? Did he know how to get us out of this dilemma?

I realized that I had no great alternative, because I certainly didn't know what I was doing. So I released my grip. The flight instructor took the yoke, pushed it completely forward, and gave the throttle full power. Now the plane was going toward the ground even faster. But as the wind began to pass over the wings, the steering column regained some response, and he pulled it up with a great powerful arc that left my stomach down somewhere near my left ankle.

One of the biggest battles (if not the biggest battle) Christians face is coming to the place of making a complete surrender where we can say, "Not my will, but Thy will be done." This was the battle Jesus fought on our behalf when He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, sweating drops of blood in agony. "O my Father," He pleaded, "if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt" (Matthew 26:39).

From Amazing Facts Inside Report, March 2001, p. 5.

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