It was a slight commotion that caused me to turn my head. A small bird had flown down the chimney and into my kitchen. It fluttered desperately against a large picture window; its wings beating relentlessly and no doubt close to breaking its neck from trying to free itself. How useful in that moment would it have been for me to stand there commanding the bird, “Do not be anxious!” I need to rescue you, but cannot do so until you stop being frantic. Obey me!”
I think it would have been unproductive to my cause and its life. Rather, instinctively I moved into action, first removing the threat, a hungry cat, who sensed his meal immediately, jumped up onto the sill and was swatting at the tiny creature. I then proceeded to gently cup my hands around the bird’s trembling body. My soft words falling on deaf ears, ‘don’t be afraid’ I whispered, it was meant to soothe with the sound of my voice rather than the actual meaning of the words themselves. The words had no meaning to the bird only the intelligent being trying to rescue the bird. I didn’t expect the bird to obey a command it couldn’t understand “do not be afraid”, but rather I hoped it would respond to my compassionate nature. As I held it gently but firmly in my hand, the bird, at first tried to escape; it only took a second before it was still and then it bit me. I ignored its fearful response and held onto anyway, until I could safely open my hands outside and set him free.
That experience which took less then two minutes taught me more about the promises and peace of God than a hundred sermons. It was God’s way of speaking to me I suppose. God deals with my desperate, fretful, fluttering as I dealt with that common bird. I am that bird. Afraid, biting and lost again and again. God is God, again and again, his nature is to free me, regardless of my nature, which is to be afraid. He acts according to his nature which makes my attempts insignificant. When and if we return to our deliverer and get to know that sweet character of His, then we can learn how to stay in his hands where there is peace and freedom.