Saturday, March 12, 2022
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Now Let The Vault Of Heaven Resound"1 (Lyrics)

Ecclesiastes 9:12 – 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. (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.

Psalm 121:7-8 – 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. (NLT)

Psalm 25:15 – My eyes are always on the Lord, for he rescues me from the traps of my enemies. (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.

Matthew 11:28-30 – 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." (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.

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About the author:

Alice Burnett <terrencera.burnett@gmail.com>
Red Deer, Alberta, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thank you.

    Lovely, Alice. Great image. Memorable.

    Thanks for the encouraging words, Alice.

    Thank you, Alice, for this comforting message.

    Thank you, Alice, for a lovely devotional today.

    Lord Jesus protect us from ourselves! Blessings.

    A moving story and a great reminder, thanks, and blessings Alice!

    Thank you for an encouraging word of truth this morning Alice.

    Dear Alice,
    Thank you for your devotional. It was a very timely reminder for me right now.

    Thank you for your story and how the Lord does rescue us and how we need to keep our eyes fixed on Him in our time of need. I like your Psalm passages too!!

    Hi Alice,
    Sometimes we entangle ourselves more with our good efforts, don’t we? Thank you for writing again.

    Good morning, Alice
    We do get tangled up at times, don’t we?
    Very good words this morning.

    Good morning, Alice
    Wonderful devotional today. Thank-you. We certainly can get entangled with situations and need God’s big scissors to free us. Great imagery!
    Continued blessings on your ministry.

    Alice! Thanks for the one word “always” which you italicized for emphasis. My danger is to follow my own agenda, confident that I can do it – then finding myself in a tangled web of my own making. Ugh!
    The closing prayer was perfect, thanks for this blessing to carry through the day!

    Greetings Alice and many thanks for another of your special devotionals. Yes, the Lord is ever ready and able to “untangle” us from whatever burdens have “entangled” us . He is truly available to serve us at every call and so deserving of our constant and most thankful praise.
    Blessings for the writings you do.

    Hi, Alice,
    Nice little devotional. Below is my favorite line. That sentence perfectly summed it all up. Thanks for the inspiration.
    Jennifer had “just happened” to be looking out the window at the crucial moment, but Jesus is always watching over us.
    The LORD will keep you from all harm — he will watch over your life.
    the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.

    Alice, your devotional is so powerful and right on! I was ‘right there with Jennifer’ as you described the entangled bird! I really appreciated your visual of Jesus having big scissors to set us free of what entangles us!
    It made me smile as I identified with the burden lifted from both the bird and your friend. I too experienced the sudden, unexpected death of my husband 3 years ago. I am so thankful I knew to look to the Lord to help and guide me through the trauma. Without His strength and guidance, I’d have still been entangled.
    Thanks for writing!

    Dear Alice,
    How true it is that when we struggle, we become more entangled. Why do we forget to turn to God in prayer and accept his guidance? Why do we think we have to handle it alone?
    This is a good picture of the downy woodpecker’s predicament to help us remember when we feel trapped or ensnared to turn to God for his wisdom. I am not sure I can leap to God with “big scissors”, but it did make me smile.
    Alice, may your friend Jennifer get the guidance she needs to work through her husband’s estate. Recently I handled my brother’s estate, and it didn’t have any business enterprises, but still need close attention to do the best for his heirs.
    Thank you for continuing to be inspired and share your thoughts. Blessings.

    Hello Alice
    Thank you for the story of the woodpecker!!! I cannot count the number of times Jesus has had his big scissors handy to help me!!!
    God bless.

    Good morning, Alice,
    Thank you for sharing your story “Entangled” on PresbyCan Daily Devotionals. I believe God, through our Lord Jesus Christ, put her at the window at the right time to see the danger in time and help the Downy Woodpecker.
    One day my brother wandered off along a trail we were on. It was meant to be – he found a squirrel caught in a trap. He ran home to get Dad and tools and they both headed out to the helpless squirrel and freed him. We were all happy to hear the little animal was freed and ran off without major injury to its leg.
    On another time, my husband and I were walking along a trail. My husband urged us to go to the beautiful lookout point of the river and falls. We found a small bird caught in fishing line that was left in the grasses. He slowly approached it, picked it up and I began removing each line. You are so correct, the more you struggle, the more you get entangled. This little bird (so beautiful in colours – we have never figured out what kind of bird it was) was badly entangled.
    I have witnessed many times where I just happened to be in the right place at the right time, or someone else was there for me at exactly the time when I felt helpless.
    This is faith. Indeed Jesus is always looking out for us.
    Thank you and God bless.

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