Sometimes we’re blessed to know and bask in the overflow from truly brilliant people. The privilege of learning from one of these people is an amazing gift. I know one…
One who holds degrees in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering, and Chemical Engineering. One who is on the Advisory Council for Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering at Purdue University, and holds other positions there. Whose career began as a test engineer for the Tomahawk Cruise Missile and Air Force Special Programs. Who was the test manager for all pyrotechnics for the Space Shuttle program at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. Who trained the astronauts for NASA. Who holds our nation’s record for time spent in a space suit. Who has dedicated the last twenty years to our nation’s defense operations. ‘Nuff credentials???
When this person was willing to explain to me what it takes to get the space shuttle off the launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center, I listened. To me, it was a mystery. To her, it was common knowledge:
“The orange tanks outside the shuttle hold two fuels: 383,000 gallons of liquid hydrogen and 143,000 gallons of liquid oxygen. Two other tanks hold 1.1 million pounds of solid rocket propellant each. When the engines are ignited, it takes three seconds for the power to build. Then explosives blow the bolts that hold the shuttle to the launch pad. It takes four more seconds – with all that power and propellant – for the shuttle to begin to lift off the pad and start its ascent to overcome the strength of gravity.”
She’s brilliant, no doubt about it. Her explanation boggled my mind. And her explanation caused me to recall another mind-boggling mystery explained by another brilliant person, the Apostle Paul…
“Behold, I show you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye..: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? …Thanks be to God which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ! For the Lord Himself shall descend with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord! Therefore, my beloved ones, be ye steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, for as much as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words (1 Corinthians 15:51-58 & 1 Thessalonians 4:14,16-18).
In a moment. In the twinkling of an eye. Changed into immortality and incorruption and caught up in the clouds with the Lord and the saints. Nothing can hold us here when He returns for us! “The exceeding greatness of His mighty power” (Ephesians 1:19) will overcome the strength of gravity in a moment – “and we have lift off” into the clouds “and so shall we ever be with the Lord!” Mystery explained. Comfort, indeed. Hallelujah!
1 Timothy 1:17