When I had time, as a child, I would enjoy finding my way through mazes—the more challenging the better. The maze provides a starting point, and then the challenge becomes finding the way out—the escape. Sometimes life can be like a maze. We find ourselves at a starting point, and we are left with the task of finding the way out. Like the maze puzzle, we may see the exit—but it is hard to figure out how to go through the twists and turns to find the route to the exit. Although this is frustrating, the good news is that there is a way out. There is a way of escape. In Acts 9, we witness a newly converted Saul, who once persecuted Christians. But since he started preaching, people are seeking to persecute him. Trapped with some disciples, he could not just walk out the gates, because those who sought his life were watching the gates ready to murder him: “Now after many days were past, the Jews plotted to kill him. But their plot became known to Saul. And they watched the gates day and night, to kill him. Then the disciples took him by night and let him down through the wall in a large basket,” Acts 9:23-25.
The disciples and Paul came up with an escape plan. They lowered Paul in a basket through the wall, and he managed to escape with his life. The disciples must have tied a rope or sheet to the large basket and lowered Paul down through the wall. We learn through Paul’s situation that God always provides a way of escape. No matter how trapped we feel in our circumstances, there is always a way of escape. It often seems like no matter how hard we try, our problems, negative people, and confusion seem to be lurking at the door—we cannot leave. But when we find ourselves in situations where the walls feel like they are closing in on us, we must think creatively on what God wants us to do—the plan he has for our escape. Many of us remain in our traps, because we refuse to think outside of the box.
We limit God to our own understanding of what we need to be delivered, or escape our situation. The truth is many of us do not have to be in the maze, because God has given us the way out. We just do not have enough faith to find it. In Paul’s case, he could not leave out the door, and he and the disciples came up with a creative plan to escape. They lowered Paul in a basket that happened to be big enough for Paul and available for use.
We cannot forget how much God loves us, and how he supplies every one of our needs, including the tools we need to escape our situations. Baskets are for laundry, potpourri, or even a baby—but not a full-grown man. Besides the basket, there was rope or some other cloth that was heavy enough to attach to the basket and carry Paul. Paul also had some friends around him who helped him escape. If we just looked and thought about our circumstances, we would recognize that God has provided us a way of escape.
He has the escape plan. All we have to have is the faith to execute it. As we reflect on our need for deliverance and rescue, let us not limit God, but be open to baskets, sheets, ropes, and people to help us. They are all a part of God’s escape plan for each of us.