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Flying Over Iran

Today, I woke up to the news that our President and First Lady tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. This was a bit shocking as it shows how we are all vulnerable in this pandemic. None of us are exempt, not even the President and his family.

I saw another news item that was quite shocking. The United States Transportation Department fined Emirates airline $400,000 for flights through Iranian airspace during a time of heightened political tension between the US and Iran last year. The department said the flights carried the code of New York-based JetBlue Airways – a sign that JetBlue could sell seats as if it were a JetBlue plane. That arrangement made the flights subject to a US ban on flying in Iranian airspace, including areas over the Gulf and the Gulf of Oman.

The Federal Aviation Administration imposed the ban after Iran shot down an American surveillance drone over the Gulf of Oman. The FAA cited political tension with Iran as raising the risk that American civilian planes in the area could be wrongly identified as military planes.

The flights took place over 19 days in July 2019.

I was shocked to realize my wife Carla and I were on Emirates flights in July 2019. We flew over Iran during this time of heightened tensions. I do not remember being too concerned about our flight path over Iran as we traveled from Dubai to Houston. I had been on several Emirates flights over the years where we flew over Iran. It was not a big deal to me. Today, I realized we were in danger of a possible missile attack.

When we look back at events that took place in our life, we can identify times when God protected us. We are living during a very precarious time when danger is all around us. One of the topics we deal with at Still Waters Renewal is how to pray through the Psalms. We see God’s promise of His presence with us at all times as we use God’s word to pray and to praise.

1Hear my cry, O God;

listen to my prayer.

2From the ends of the earth I call to you,

I call as my heart grows faint;

lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

3For you have been my refuge,

a strong tower against the foe.

Psalm 61:1-3

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