On February 20, 1962, the spacecraft Friendship 7 rose on a pillar of fire, piloted by lone astronaut John Glenn.

Leaving the coast of Florida far behind, the space capsule orbited the earth three times, traveling 81,000 miles in less than four hours.

As the craft began its descent from space, mission controllers in Houston received a warning signal: a sensor indicated that the capsule’s heat shield was in danger of detaching. If the heat shield came loose during re-entry, the capsule would burn like a meteor–and John Glenn would die.

There was no way to fix the problem in space. The capsule was already approaching the outer fringe of the atmosphere. As the tiny spacecraft fell toward Earth, the heat shield glowed red-hot–then white hot. Soon, a hot cloud of ionized gas particles called plasma surrounded the capsule.

Because radio waves cannot penetrate plasma, the spacecraft experienced a total communications blackout–what astronauts and mission controllers call a “black hole” (not to be confused with the black holes that form in space when a star collapses).

The minutes crawled by and the suspense mounted in the Houston control room. NASA engineers felt totally helpless.

Finally, after five minutes of silence, mission controllers heard Glenn’s voice crackling over the radio: “Friendship 7 to Houston.”

Shouts of joy shook the control room. John Glenn was coming home.

It turned out that the warning signal had come from a faulty sensor.

Although neither Glenn nor the mission controllers knew it at the time, the heat shield was absolutely firm and reliable. The fears for John Glenn’s safety during this black hole experience were unfounded.

If you’ve ever been through a Joseph Pit experience (Genesis 37), you probably know what a communications “black hole” feels like.

While you are in the pit of adversity, you feel that your world is collapsing, that your life is out of control–and that God is silent.

You call out to Him and there is no answer. The silence of a black-hole is deafening. You feel isolated and alone.

You question God’s love, His care for you, and even His existence.

But even when it seems that God is distant and silent, when you feel you are in a black hole of isolation and loneliness, your “heart shield” is still there, firm and reliable.

In your black hole experience, God is teaching you to go deeper into your relationship with Him.

You may think that your life is out of control and burning like a meteor, but in reality, God, your heat shield, still protects you from the fiery forces that surround you.

by Os Hillman

5 Responses to A Black Hole

  1. Dee says:

    Oh my, did I need to hear that! Thank you for reminding me that He is with me even when it appears all is lost. God bless

  2. anne says:

    Amen! I am so blessed by this message. God bless you greatly at AllWorship.

  3. Arlene says:

    Thank you. That was so comforting. In our uttermost darkness and despair, our Heavenly Father stretches forth His hand to rescue us. We are never ever alone. All praise and glory to our God and Creator. Amen

  4. Timothy Mburu Njoroge says:

    Allworship you truly bless me at all times todays message reminded me of God’s Protection, I am a young Christian from Kenya, inspite of that I have this deep desire of Knowing my God through Jesus Christ and you guys just do the perfect Job.

    I pray that you may be amply blessed, may the Lord open your ways that you ministry may turn to be a light to others as it were to me.

    God Bless you all.

  5. Maggie says:

    I pray that peace be upon everyone, as it has been in God’s Will for me.

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