This afternoon we stopped at a tea shop high in the Malaysian mountains. The shop was closed, but they had a lovely terrace overlooking a tea plantation and some greenhouse buildings. We took some pictures and were enjoying the cool breeze and sunshine.
I went to a far corner of the terrace and saw a mynah bird hanging upside down from a potted plant. I thought, ‘Ugh, what kind of weird decoration is this?’
I called Mike over and he said, ‘It’s alive!’ When I looked again I could see it move. On closer inspection we saw that both its feet were wrapped with a string around a branch. How it must have struggled only to be more and more tied up! He definitely needed help or he would die. We had no knife to cut the string. Mike tried using a key to slide the string over his claws. Nothing was working and the poor bird was screaming like a crow.
We found a gardener nearby and pointed out the bird’s predicament. He went immediately and gently held the bird with one hand as he carefully picked the string with a pen knife. The bird kept screaming, but the gardener held it securely until every bit of the string was removed from both feet. When no string remained, he held the bird up and opened his hand. That unfettered bird flew at top speed with not even the slightest backwards glance.
We went away with a warm glow knowing one of God’s creatures was now safe. Mike said, ‘What a tale he will have to tell his family tonight!’
Psalms 124:7 – “We have escaped like a bird from the snare of the fowlers; the snare is broken, and we have escaped!”
How gently, but securely our Gardener holds us while he cuts us free of the fetters that kept us captive. We may yell and squirm, but He knows for our good He cannot let us go too soon.
He has a plan for good and not for evil, but we have to be set free from our snares first.
Have we seen someone caught in a snare, maybe even of their own doing? God may be asking us to help hold them, while He untangles them?
How gently and how securely we may hold that loved one or stranger in prayer and in friendship until God sets them free.