We used to enjoy watching boats being launched at a nearby dock. My kids were still small at that time and were young enough to become excited by such things (Boy, how things change!). But this particular day was different. We couldn’t concentrate on the boats because of the anxious quacking of a nearby duck.
When it intensified as time went on, we couldn’t help but wonder if it needed our help. The noise seemed to be originating from a nearby bush, and closer inspection revealed that this particular shrub was shaking. Odd!
We told the boys to stay behind (which was about the same as asking the sun to stop shining) and we carefully moved towards the origin of the commotion. To our horror, we discovered a duck, completely tangled up in fishing line. It was frantically trying to free itself, but the more it struggled, the more entangled it became.
We quickly devised a plan for rescuing that poor creature. We had no equipment but our bare hands, so I grabbed the duck by its wings. It was horrified and it now struggled not only to free itself from the fishing line, but also to free itself from my disgusting, foul-smelling hands as well (Or at least that is what it thought!). But to the poor duck’s dismay, it soon lay on its side.
More useless struggling! How desperately it wanted to limp away from me! Meanwhile my wife discovered that the fish hook had somehow succeeded in implanting itself in the duck’s mouth. Her first step was to somehow try and get it out. Have you ever watched a dentist extract a tooth from a struggling, yelling patient? Impossible, right? No wonder dentists charge such horrendous prices! However, with perseverance, patience and a lot of smooth talking, and of course, me holding the duck tightly against the ground, my wife finally succeeded at her attempts.
The next step was to unwrap it from the line that had become entangled around its body. Not an easy task without scissors! But with prayer and perseverance, my wife succeeded in completely liberating the duck.
As soon as it was free of any obstructions, we released it. It quickly scampered away, complaining at the top of its lungs. You’d think it might have shown a little gratitude!
But don’t we often deal the same way with sin? We find ourselves entangled in a vicious, horrible, sinful addiction and instead of letting Jesus come to our rescue, we prefer to try to free ourselves through our own efforts. Soon we find ourselves desperate and hopeless, and of course, even more entangled in its vicious snare.
Why is it so hard for humans to realize that no matter how hard we try, we cannot free ourselves from sin? There is only One who can, and He paid the price 2000 years ago!
“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12 NIV)
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God- not by works , so that no one can boast.” (Eph 2:8-9 NIV)
“And if by grace, then it is no longer by works ; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.” (Rom 11:6 NIV)
Even believers can fall for the same lie. They believe Jesus came to save them, but they have to prove to God that they are worthy of salvation. They desperately trying to prove themselves through their works, while the sin continues to hold them all the more viciously in its grasp. When asked about salvation, they exclaim: “I sure hope I am saved, but I really don’t know!”
Entanglement in sin cannot be broken through self-efforts. The more you try, the more you will find yourself in the same condition as this entangled duck. Freedom can only be obtained FREELY though Jesus, who, by the way, will confirm your salvation though His Holy Spirit!
“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:36 NIV)
“And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal , the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance…” (Eph 1:13-14 NIV)
You can be set free! Guaranteed! And all this for free! Don’t run away from Jesus. Instead limp towards Him and discover His saving grace. He loves you!
P. S. Have you seen my fishing rod anywhere? Didn’t Jesus say we need to be fishers of men? Where did I see it last?