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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Saturday, August 11, 2001

Expressions of Faith
Bible helps get past dark fears

By LIsa Bader

Lisa Bader

Sometimes we are in situations where circumstances are beyond our control. This can be frustrating or, at times, even frightening. 

Recently we were on a red-eye flight to California. An hour and a half into the flight, around midnight, the captain turned on all the overhead lights and asked all the passengers to wake up.

He went on to say that we were turning around and heading back to Honolulu because we were leaking too much oil and he did not want to jeopardize the trip.

He said they needed to dump thousands of pounds of fuel, shut down one of the engines, and fly lower, all to conserve oil so we could get back.

Needless to say, we became very nervous. Some passengers even started to cry.

I remember thinking I had a couple of choices to make. I could either panic, thinking of the worst-case scenario, or I could pray. I chose to pray. I knew I had to occupy my mind with positive thoughts.

I always take my Bible with me when I travel, so I pulled it out and went to a verse that gave me comfort: Psalm 27:1 and 3 — "The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life, of whom shall I be afraid? Though a host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident."

This was my prayer of persuasion. Even though the circumstance I was in was a negative one, I had to fill my mind with confidence that God would deliver us safely.

I dwelt on these verses for the next hour and a half. As we came in for a landing, the runway was surrounded by fire trucks and ambulances, but none was needed.

There is a God who desires to help us. Although some prayers are not always answered in "our" time frame, we must never give up. 

Consider the Gospel of Luke 18:1 — "And he spake a parable unto them, to pray, and not to faint." Jesus was teaching his disciples persistence in prayer.

He then gave an example via a parable, of a woman who persistently goes before an unjust city judge for justice.

At first the judge was not interested in her case, but because she went before him again and again, he granted her wish. It was her persistence that wearied him into helping her.

Verse 7 says, "Shall not God avenge his own elect which cry day and night unto him though he bear long with them?"

The unjust judge gave in to the cries of the woman. Would God, who is just and merciful, not give in to his children who also cry unto him for help?

What a great analogy Jesus gave so that we may understand the main point, "not to faint." Don't give up!

Lisa Bader coordinates a weekly Bible study in her home in participation with Hawaii Bible Fellowships. 

Expressions of Faith is a column that welcomes written contributions from pastors, priests, lay workers and other leaders of all faiths and beliefs. Reach her at 525-8036 or faith@honoluluadvertiser.com.