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By Pastor Stacy Williams
web posted July 1, 2009
RELIGION – This past Sunday morning, I was going into the kitchen to make breakfast. When I entered the room, I noticed something move in a place where nothing should be moving. I looked again in the direction of the movement, and saw nothing unusual. However, in a few moments, I saw it again.

I realized that a male bluebird had become stuck between our kitchen window and the outside screen. The space where he had entered was very small, and he could not find his way back out the way he came in. He was frantically fluttering around in the small space trying to find an exit.

At times, he was flying against the window, but mostly he was trying to get out through the screen. You see, he could smell the fragrances of the outside, hear the call of other birds, feel the breeze across his feathers, but could not get free from his self-made prison. I knew I had to help him.

I really didn’t want a bird flying around in my house. However, the window is too high up for me to reach from the outside, so there was no alternative, but to help him from the inside. I thought I would raise the window just enough to slide my hand underneath, and try to show him the opening from which he entered, in hopes he would exit that way. All he did, however, was fly to the bottom of the windowsill, and cower. He was paralyzed with fear.

I withdrew my hand and watched as his courage returned. He began to flutter again. Once more, I reached in to show him the way out, but he again flew to the bottom and tried to hide.

This time, I gently put my hand around him. He did not claw, or try to fight, but I could feel his small heart racing as I held him just firmly enough that he couldn’t fly away. After showing him to the kids, I went to the back door and out to the deck. I barely opened my hands before he leaped from my grasp and flew away, with speed I did not know bluebirds had.

I thought about the incident all day. As Christians, we also enter into situations that we cannot escape from. Sin has many of us trapped and we cannot find a way out. We can smell, hear, and feel freedom, but we stay locked up in a sinful cage of our own making. We desperately want to break free from the things that are displeasing to God, but the harder we fight, the more exhausted, tired and scared we become. What will it take to break the cycle of sin?

It has already been broken. The body of Christ was broken for us. He bled and died, and in so doing, Jesus took all of our sin away and granted us freedom. When He rose from the dead on the third day, He reached into the prison of our sin and pulled us out. We could not save ourselves, so He rescued us.

Phillips, Craig and Dean recorded a song some years ago that sums this up quite well. The song is “This is How it Feels to be Free.”

There is a wall that has been standing, since the day that Adam fell. Sin is where it started and Sin is why it held. Speaking as a prisoner, who was there and lived to tell. I remember how it fell.  I can hear the sound of freedom, like a distant voice who called, and beckoned me to follow where I had never gone. And though my heart is willing, I just stood there at the wall praying somehow it would fall. But in a cross I found a doorway and a hand that held a key, and when the chains fell at my feet, for the first time I could see…This is how it feels to be free! This is what it means to know that I am forgiven! This is how it feels to be free! To see that life can be more than I imagined. This is how it feels to be free!
(Songwriters: Shawn Craig, Don Koch, Dave Clark)

We have escaped like a bird out of the fowler's snare; the snare has been broken, and we have escaped. Our help is in the name of the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. (Psalm 124:7-8 NKJV)

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