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Let the Bird Fly Free
Let the Bird Fly Free
Psalm 124: 6-8. Blessed be the Lord, who hath not given us as a prey to their teeth. Our soul is escaped as a bird out of the snare of the fowlers: the snare is broken, and we are escaped. Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
This beautiful passage illustrates our relationship with God. The bird, terrified of its hunters, struggles against its cage, beating its wings spastically against the sides of its unnatural enclosure, not understanding the fate that awaits it, but knowing enough to be very afraid. Its heart races. It smashes itself senselessly against the walls. Then someone comes along and takes pity on the frightened animal. Now the creature, paralyzed by exhaustion and fear, merely stares at the hand that opens the lid, not even able to blink. The rescuer backs away from the open box, and after a few seconds, the little bird bursts out and disappears into the bright blue sky. Its benefactor watches with pleasure as it rises to the clouds and dwindles quickly from sight, eager to put distance between it and the brief but horrifying capture. Its doom had been so close...
The escape that God gives us from our enemies is no less dramatic and timely. The Psalm above was written by King David, who found himself in many situations that required God's rescue. God loved David the most, but David turned his back on God many times. God loved him because despite David's dramatic stumbles, he would call on God every time. And like the proverbial bird, once rescued, he would fly free. So free in fact that he would sin again.
How many times has God come to our rescue and watched with a sad ache in his heart as we turned back to the very thing that he rescued us from? We are like the bird. The difference is that God wants us to stay with him, where he can protect us, feed us the best food and watch as we grow strong, healthy and shed our parasites under his wing.
Without God, we live in that cage, we are snared, caught without hope as the Devil drags us in so he can devour us. We are without hope, fluttering without effect against our confines. We would remain so, except for Jesus. Jesus comes and answers our cries for freedom and help. All we have to do is say yes, and in a blink of an eye, he leans down and undoes the ties that bind us to the ground. When we are free, we take off like a shot and without even a look back, disappear into the bright blue sky. Jesus can only look on with joy as he is blessed with our freedom.
What we don't know is that when we are saved by Jesus, we fly in his sky, the sky he created for us to enjoy. But even though when we are saved from death, we don't realize how much he wants us to come near him. When setting a bird free, there's always the tiny hope that it will come back and land on your shoulder. This is what God really wants of us. The sky is beautiful and open and free, created for our pleasure and even God's pleasure to watch us fly in it. But for him, the greater joy is to have us around his feet and on his shoulders, being fed by him and returning that love with affection and adulation.
The beauty of God's plan is that he has so much more in store for us than just flying free. He gives us all our freedom so that we can choose of our own accord to be with him. If it was forced, it wouldn't be real