The Apostle Paul writes in his first letter to Corinthians chapter 10 v13 that God is faithful and will not allow them to be tempted beyond their strength but will provide a way of escape (otherwise translated “safe landing place”) that they would be able to endure it. Think of a migrating bird on an incredibly long journey across continents and needing desperately to rest and perhaps have a drink of water, lest it plunge down to its death or serious injury in its exhaustion. Actually there is a bird called a chimney swift whose legs are so weak it can't walk or perch on horizontal surfaces, so if it lands safely at all it must be on a vertical surface like the side of a wall. Imagine trying to land on the side of a wall, but by God's grace and creativity and to accommodate our weaknesses with even greater strengths, it can be done if necessary! Or think of a plane on a long flight and about to run out of fuel if it doesn’t land soon at some hospitable site for refueling. (And we've heard alot about one particular one recently associated with Malaysia.) Either one must land intentionally in a safe location or it will crash accidentally in an harsh inhospitable one. Sometimes it’s possible even to land without incident in an inhospitable site, but it’s much more risky. How welcome is the sight of that secure landing place as it comes up on the horizon! So it is that our God provides us with safe landing places and sanctuaries spiritually in our travels through and around this world. They are usually only for a season or even briefer but God has orchestrated them perfectly. From those places we emerge and resume our “pilgrimages” as one patriarch would have put it, for instead of stating his age in the outworn form of I-am-this-many-years-”old”, he would say, “The years of my pilgrimage are” thus and thus. And one can imagine this one “whose heart is set on pilgrimage” going on to say that his “landing places” and near escapes were many along the way! If he were honest he would also mention that he had also experienced a few crashes in his time. He might even show you a scar or two from some of them.
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