3-Week Series: Double Blessing

Sermon Illustrations

Apollo 13 lifted off 2:13 PM April 11, 1970 [Apollo 13 web site]. James Lovell, John Swigert, Fred Haise read their instruments at 55:52:31 into the flight. The master caution light was triggered by low pressure in hydrogen tank #1. At 55:54:57 oxygen tank # 2 read off-scale; in plain language, it exploded. At 55:55:20, or 10:08 PM, April 13, command module pilot John Swigert speaks: “OK, Houston, we’ve had a problem here.” Oxygen tank #1 line had ruptured; service module bay cover #4 was blown off. All oxygen stores were lost in 3 hours; along with water, electric, & propulsion systems.

Swigert’s voice was incredibly calm, but did not express joy. You may remember that Apollo 13 successfully returned at 1:07 PM, April 17. Success relied on a combination of addressing the problem, gettig help, and trusting the advice of the control center.

The Bible does not tell us to be happy in times trial. But we can express joy when our faith is tested in difficult times. James offers counsel on how to deal with problems when our spiritual engine fails

(JAMES 1:2-6).

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