SR 71 Blackbird

I served in the Air Force from 1971 to 1975.  Most of them time was spent in ColoradoSprings.   There was nothing gloriousabout my job.  I drove up and down theflight line delivering supplies to the different hangars.
The tarmac by the last hangar was a little different incolor due to the fact this is where the SR 71 Blackbird was housed when it wason base.  The color of the tarmac matchedthe color of the Blackbird, so it would blend in with its surroundings. 
While I was in the Air Force, access to this now retired jetwas limited.  Today, people have easy access tothis engineering marvel, and one can be seen at the Kansas Cosmosphere. 
While in service, the Blackbird set many speed records.  As an example, it flew from LosAngeles, CA to Washington, D.C. in 64 minutes 20 seconds.
Because the high speeds created high body temperatures, theengineers had to allow for thermal expansion. To do this the fuselage panels were manufactured to fit loosely while onthe ground.   Once it was airborne,proper alignment was achieved when the airframe heated-up and expanded severalinches.  After a mission had beencompleted and the Blackbird had landed, the canopy temperature could be as highas 572 degrees.
The Blackbird had to be stressed (heated-up) before it wasfully functional.  The same is true forthe Christian:  We knowthat suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character,hope (Romans 5:1).
When a person experiences the trials of life firsthand, he developsa skill-set that is of great benefit to others. Notice the sequence in the following verse: The God of all comfort,  comfortsus in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with thecomfort we ourselves receive from God (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).
After I had worked on my porch one day this Summer, I needed a little comfort.   I shot a 2 inchflooring nail through my finger, and it was not one of my Praise the Lord moments.  While this was a minor incident, it is difficult to rejoice when the heartis heavy with sadness; you have received some detrimental news; or, you’ve suffereda great loss.
At times we may feel like we are wearing a bull’s-eye, andare the target of God’s wrath.  The pain creates such an intense inward focus that we forget there are hundreds of people around the worldhaving the same or similar experience.
When unwanted situations like these invade your life, rememberthat somewhere down the road, there’s a person who is going to need you toshare the lessons you’ve learned.   You will be the comforter to help those in need of comfort.

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