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Summary: Uses a little known verse in the book of Nahum and uses a compare & contrast style to some difficult airport destinations.

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TOUGH LANDINGS

Some airports are internationally known for their unusual terrains, short strips, or tough destinations. To the pilots that use these roadways regularly, there is an element of both danger and excitement in every liftoff and landing (and if I am ever a passenger at one of these places, I hope the pilots never tell me about their thrills). Here are some listed as the world’s most dangerous:

The Lukla Airport in Nepal is steeped in between two wonders: a mountain on one side and a 1000 meter drop on the other. Because of its high elevation being close to 3000 feet above sea level, planes have to navigate this passage sometimes on less than full engine strength. Visitors flock to this site for it is the common starting place for those attempting to climb Mount Everest. Not for me.

The Princess Julianna International Airport in Saint Martin is known for its beautiful beaches and its short runaways. How short do you ask? At barely 7000 feet, planes often seem to scrape over the oceanside beach at just a couple dozen feet over the heads of sunbathers and vacation goers. Some pictures have been developed here of large jets flying just 30 feet above the heads of people! Those photos are not hoaxes, for this site might make you want to duck and cover.

The Courchevel Airport in France was designed to assist snow skiers, it’s location high up in the hills dictate this. Besides the fact that planes often have to touch down with piles of snow located on all four sides, what makes this landing unique is that the runway is only a short 500 meters and that it boasts a radiant of 18%. That’s correct, planes actually have to land going uphill on a major sloping angle.

Perhaps the greatest marvel of a landing pad is located at the Madeira Airport. Here, architects have designed an extended runway that juts out into the ocean 1000 feet by a bridge that stands about 200 meters higher than the ocean floor. Passengers landing here sometimes feel like they’re landing on a bridge.

As a historian, I enjoy learning about history and studying modern marvels such as these. The complexities of air travel has been brought down to us the common man for our simple use. For that, I am thankful. But in all reality, no landing is simple. Not for a 10 ton plane touching disembarking, and nor for you and I when we are going through a tough spiritual challenge. Thankfully so, we can serve a God named Jesus who is famous for giving people like you and me safe landings. Wouldn’t you agree?

In the seldom quoted scriptures in the first chapter of the book of Nahum, the security of Christ is described. Verse 7 states that “The Lord is good, indeed, he is a fortress in time of distress, and he protects those who seek refuge in him.” Are you in a bind? Is life not giving you all you hoped it would? Do you feel like you continually are entered into a one-sided boxing match and continue to get clobbered? Maybe all you need is a safe landing. My prayer is that you seek Christ for the landing, allow him to level off what is striking at you, and touch down at a local church this weekend. Amen.

Source: Malik, Tamoor. The-info.org, 7 of the World’s Most Dangerous Airports, February 11, 2008.


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