We have escaped like a bird
from the fowler's snare;
the snare has been broken,
and we have escaped.
My father is an avid gardener. One year, he decides to plant some blueberry bushes in our yard. Nothing is tastier or more tempting than blueberries picked at the peak of ripeness from one's very own garden.
They give home-grown tomatoes a run for the money!
But, as much as we love blueberries, so do the birds. We lose most of our first crop to their voracious appetites.
The next year, Dad decides to foil our feathered friends. He drapes a fine-mesh netting over the bushes to protect the ripening fruit from being consumed by unwanted guests. The net reaches from the top of the bushes to the ground.
Almost . . .
Colander in hand, I stroll from the house toward the blueberry bushes to collect the perfect ones. It is a sweltering summer's day. I am sweaty and uncomfortable, but the vision of Mom's blueberry pie keeps me focused on the task at hand.
As I draw near the bushes, there is a startling commotion beneath the netting.
A little bird, panicked by my approach, flails its wings vainly against its mesh prison. Chirping manically, it frantically flutters, again and again, trying to escape.
To no avail.
I realize the bird must have slipped in under the net. Now, in its fear and agitation, it cannot recall the way out.
I have to remove the net to free it.
Moving slowly so as not add to the poor creature's terrorized state, I grab the net from the bottom and lift it gently upwards. The bird, not knowing that freedom is close at hand, beats its wings in furious retreat.
Entangles itself further in the fowler's snare.
It isn't until I have withdrawn the net completely from the bushes that it finally flies away.
And, the blueberries are all mine.
When the troubles of life entangle you, do you turn to the Lord for help?
Will you pray with me?
Too often, Father, we let the snares of life bind us. Like the trapped little bird, we beat our wings hopelessly, trying to escape our fears or solve our problems on our own. Remind us, dear Lord, that You are always there to free us when we turn to You in faith and trust. Amen.
Psalms (120), 121, 122, 123 or 124, 125, 126, (127)
1 Corinthians 14:20-33a, 39-40