“People can never predict when hard times might come. Like fish in a net or birds in a trap, people are caught by sudden tragedy.”(Ecclesiastes 9:12 NLT)
My friend sat in her living room and watched as a small Downy Woodpecker flew towards the netting that she had put into place in front of the window, intended to keep birds from hitting it. Instead of coming short of the barrier and making an abrupt about-face, the woodpecker hit the netting and became hopelessly entangled.
Jennifer couldn’t wait any longer. Despite the -25°C weather, she threw on a jacket and ran outside, scissors in hand. The poor little bird, its feet and head twisted in the mesh of the netting, wriggled and squeaked in fear as Jennifer worked carefully, cutting away the fine strings that bound and trapped it. Finally, the woodpecker was freed, and flew off into a nearby tree.
The Downy Woodpecker was not anticipating a trap when it flew towards the window. Neither was my friend anticipating her husband’s tragic accident eight months previously. Troubles can come up suddenly at any time.
The more that the little bird struggled, the more enmeshed that it became. After her husband’s death, Jennifer felt entangled herself as she faced all sorts of complications having to do with her husband’s estate and his many business enterprises. Sometimes, the more that we try to untangle a situation by our own efforts, the more ensnared that we become.
As Jennifer told me the story of the Downy Woodpecker, I had a mental picture of Jesus with a big pair of scissors, ready to free her from her entanglement. Jennifer had “just happened” to be looking out the window at the crucial moment, but Jesus is always watching over us.
“The Lord keeps you from all harm and watches over your life. The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever.”(Psalm 121:7-8 NLT)
“My eyes are always on the Lord, for he rescues me from the traps of my enemies.”(Psalm 25:15 NLT)
Not only did the bird’s situation have a happy ending, Jennifer also felt something lift off her as the bird flew away.
Don’t let entangled situations get you down. Jesus is waiting to cut you free. Keep your eyes on Him.
Then Jesus said, ‘Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.'”(Matthew 11:28-30 NLT)
Prayer: Thank You, Lord, that You always watch over us and that You have our best interests in mind. Thank You that You are always ready with Your big pair of scissors to rescue us from our predicaments and entanglements. Help us to keep our eyes on You. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
Copyright © 2022, by Alice Burnett <firstname.lastname@example.org>, first published on the PresbyCan Daily Devotional presbycan.ca .
Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
Reprinted from PresbyCan with author’s permission