Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength; they will soar like eagles. (Isaiah chapter 40 verse 31)

Mention airports and what does that bring to mind?

If you are a frequent flyer, perhaps to visit family or on business overseas, I guess that flying is largely a means to an end. Generally quicker than driving or using the train or ship, flying means we can be on the Continent in just a few hours. If, like me, you occasionally have a holiday abroad, then going by air conjures up a mixture of excitement and frustration. I like flying (unless there is turbulence) and I still find it hard to believe that aeroplanes can actually get off the ground – for me there are worse pastimes than watching planes take off and land. But queuing at an airport is no fun and less so if the place is unfamiliar to you and they is some kind of a delay.

As I write this I have received a note to say that the Mission Aviation Fellowship are bringing their latest aircraft to a local airfield. It is part of a tour to show supporters what they have bought as well as to publicise their work. The charity use aircraft in the developing world to support communities where other means of transport are very difficult or when delays could bring danger to the communities they serve. They work with other charities, aid organisations, governments and churches to support outreach, mission, deliver medical supplies and emergency aid. There is more on their website: www.maf-uk.org.

Being able to fly means giving people freedom. For most of us, that is freedom to visit people and see places that would have been nearly impossible in another age. For some of us it means there is greater scope for our business. For others it brings contact with the outside world that enriches their lives.

In the Bible, Isaiah compares God’s people to eagles soaring in the sky. He gives them a message of hope: despite how they feel, God is not far from them. Despite their feelings of tiredness, God is there beside them to give them strength. Despite any frustrations they may have, God’s intention for them is not to get bogged down by the troubles they may have. God’s intention is for people to feel the strength and freedom that eagles seem to enjoy when they fly.

Whatever journeys you have this summer – long haul or short – I pray that you will know that God is near you. And perhaps we’ll soar like eagles too…

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