Last week a tiny sparrow smacked into the sliding glass door of our house. The evidence of a loud thud and tiny, downy feathers stuck to the glass led my family to race to the door and see. The bird sat stunned near our dryer vent for a long time, very still. No one was sure if it was alive or not. I’m a pretty hands-on type of girl when it comes to animals, so I crept out and gathered it in my hands. The bird’s delicate body was covered in a feathery coat, speckled brown and white, camouflaged perfectly for winter. Nothing appeared to be broken.
I was struck by the near weightlessness of this helpless creature cradled in my palms. How wonderfully made it was to ride the wind, to hide in bushes and trees—but a bit clueless to avoid reflective house windows. Soon after I made contact, the stunned state wore off and it attempted to jump. So I put it in a box with a towel (for warmth and protection from the occasional passing neighbor cat) and went back inside to keep it from being too frightened. It didn’t stay long, and soon jumped out and hid in the bush near our back porch. Eventually, it flew off and I’m sure had an amazing tale for its friends—and a major headache.
I feel like that bird sometimes. I’m going along with my daily tasks, minding my own business, thinking that the path I’m on will get me where I want to go. I’m flitting here and there, checking things off my list when suddenly WHAM, I’m sitting stunned on the back porch in the freezing cold, wondering what I’m doing there. Wasn’t I doing everything right? Why have I been derailed by illness, stress, an unexpected event?
I don’t really have an answer for those questions. Life holds pitfalls and trials just as much as it holds happiness-although the trials seem to last longer and are burned into our minds so much easier than the joys.
I do know that I’m promised, if I belong to the Lord, He is with me. He will lift me in His mighty hands, cradle me and comfort me until I feel able to begin again. But, unlike my leaving the bird to fend for itself, He will never leave me nor forsake me.
If you find yourself slamming against a window of your own, don’t despair. He is with you.
Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. (full text here)