The one question dominating world news this past week has been, “How can you possibly lose something as large as a 777 jumbo jet?” And yet, that is exactly what appears to have happened. Malaysia flight 370 left Kuala Lumpur last Saturday, March 8 at 12:41 AM bound for Beijing, China. At 1:30 AM, 45 min. after takeoff, air traffic controllers in Vietnam received the last contact with the plane. All attempts to discover its whereabouts have led to dead ends. It's like flight 370 simply vanished into thin air.
Equally mysterious is the fact that the aircraft's transponder suddenly ceased to function at about the same time as the last radio contact. A transponder is a radio transmitter located in the cockpit that works with ground radar. When it is contacted by radar, it returns what is called a “4 digit squawk code,” that helps locate the aircraft's position, altitude and distinct call sign. This enables air-traffic controllers to identify the flight and track its altitude and trajectory.
Typically, the transponder remains on and can also be used by the pilot to send a code indicating an emergency such as a hijacking, communications failure or plane malfunction. What might cause a transponder to suddenly cease transmitting? Something catastrophic like an explosion or a massive mechanical failure could do it. But it can also be deliberately turned off from the cockpit.
In trying to understand what happened to flight 370, the fact that the transponder cut off has led to speculations of hijacking, an act of terrorism, or even deliberate pilot manual turn off for unknown reasons. The possible area in which the plane may have gone down is mostly ocean and so vast that it may never be located. But the search continues, and probably will for some time to come because we refuse to simply lose something as large as a jumbo jet.
While we can't believe that it's possible to lose something as big as a jumbo jet, people often feel that they can't find God. He seems distant and unreachable to us. Maybe we used to have contact with Him, but now He seems to have disappeared, vanished off our spiritual radar.
This happens in spite of His reassurances that He is everywhere and He never leaves or forsakes us. (Deuteronomy 31:6b) Psalm 139:7–10 tells us: “Where can I flee from Your presence? If I go up to the heavens, You are there; if I make my bed in the depths, You are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there Your hand will guide me, Your right hand will hold me fast.”
How can we possibly lose Someone as big as the Creator of our universe? When we can't seem to find God, we need to ask ourselves, “Is your transponder on?” When we turn off “our transponder” we cease to communicate with Him, and it feels like He disappears
Keep your transponder on! Take God at His word and continue to communicate with Him in prayer, praise,and worship. Meditate on Scripture, even when it feels like He's disappeared. One of my favorite verses to meditate on is Jeremiah 31:3: “I've never quit loving you and I never will. Expect love, love and more love!” (The Message Bible) I guarantee if you keep your receptivity to Him open, He will communicate loud and strong with you!
Please join us this Sunday at 9:00 AM, 11:00 AM or 2:00 PM. We have a guest speaker in the morning, Danny Silk at 9 AM and 11 AM and Bob Hartley at 2 PM.