The Caged Bird…
Once there was a beautiful nightingale in a forest with a beautiful voice. It used to sing such wonderful songs that everyone who lived near the forest used to come to the tree to hear the beautiful songs. The bird’s songs were so powerful to touch the people’s hearts! Soon the fame of the bird reached the King and the King ordered to catch the bird and bring it to palace so he can hear the song.
The King’s stewardess went to the forest, caught the bird, put her in a cage and brought before the King. The King was very happy to see the bird and hear the wonderful songs from the bird. But the bird was locked up in the cage and the bird became very sad as it lost its freedom. The bird asked the king to set her free, but the King never listened. The bird became frustrated, but it didn’t show the frustration to anyone. The bird searched a way to escape from the cage, but the cage was too strong to break out. Finally an idea struck her mind and the next day when the King came to listen to the bird song, he found the bird dead in the cage. The bird remained motionless and didn’t respond to anything. The King thought the bird was dead and asked a servant to bury her.
The servant opened the cage and took the bird out and took her in his hands. The bird remained motionless and once she was brought out of the palace the bird quickly flew away from the servant’s hands and flew back into the forest and she lived a happy life thereafter.
Many a times this similar situation happens in our life. We get entrapped in some sort of cage and lose the freedom not because you did something wrong, but because of our abilities and talents! We cannot change it how much ever talented we are! Nothing seems to work out and remain completely stuck up!
In the first book of the Bible, Genesis (Chapters 37-50) we see Joseph, who was very talented and different from his brothers, who had a particular talent of seeing visions as well as the ability to explain the true meaning of the vision! He had a vision of becoming an important person higher position than his brothers, and his parents and brothers bowing before him. This made a big dislike against him from his brothers. As a result, he was sold as a slave to Ishmaelitie merchants by his own brethren who then sold to an Egyptian named Pothiphar one of Pharaoh’s officials! From there he was jailed for no reason!
But Joseph didn’t make any great fuss about it, he remained faithful, patient, calm and still. He waited patiently for 13 long years. Many a time he would have thought what went wrong in his life, but he remained calm and waited patiently. At the end of those 13 years here comes another dream, this time to Pharaoh of Egypt. Nobody was able to explain the true meaning of it and the cupbearer of Pharaoh remembered Joseph and Joseph was brought before Pharaoh and he explains the true revelation of Pharaoh’s vision and Pharaoh made him second after him and made him in charge to prepare for the great famine of seven years that was coming after seven years of great harvest as per Pharaoh’s vision! And as history says the word came true and God used Joseph not only to save him, but the entire Egypt and the surrounding countries of Egypt to survive those harsh seven years of great famine!
See when Joseph’s brothers sold him, they thought that was the end of all dreams. Even Joseph when he was put in jail for no reason for 13 long years he might have thought his dreams will never come true, but at the end of those 13 years, through another dream of Pharaoh, Joseph’s dreams came true! He didn’t make any petitions or fuss about his innocence, but when he remained calm and still his deliverance was brought in a special way and he became the second after Pharaoh like the bird freed herself from the cage!
In another instance, in the book of Acts of Apostles, chapter 12, we see Peter the leader of the Apostles was arrested and put in jail for spreading the Gospel of Jesus. He didn’t do anything wrong, but spread the word of God to the people, which brought great deliverances in many peoples’ life. The Lame could walk, the blind could see, the lepers were healed, the demon possessed were relieved, the dead were risen were some of the miracles God did through Peter. Peter didn’t do anything wrong, but helped the helpless and spread the gospel of Jesus. But it created a great headache to the high priests of the Jews and King Herod to get the support of those high priests caught James another apostle the brother of John and killed him. Herod saw it was pleasing to the Jews and now he caught Peter to kill him.
Peter was put in a high security prison. He was to be killed the next day. But he appears to be patient and calm. He didn’t go to anyone to plead for justice and mercy, but remained calm and patient! And as you know God send his angel into the prison and his handcuffs fell off, the prison doors got opened and the iron gate to the city opened itself! Peter, who was put in high security prison got out of the prison, even without his knowledge, for he thought he was having a vision! The angel brought to the city and left him when he woke up and realized it was not a dream but real!
‘It was about this time that King Herod arrested some who belonged to the church, intending to persecute them. He had James, the brother of John, put to death with the sword. When he saw that this met with approval among the Jews, he proceeded to seize Peter also. This happened during the Festival of Unleavened Bread. After arresting him, he put him in prison, handing him over to be guarded by four squads of four soldiers each. Herod intended to bring him out for public trial after the Passover. So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him. The night before Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries stood guard at the entrance. Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him up. “Quick, get up!” he said, and the chains fell off Peter’s wrists. Then the angel said to him, “Put on your clothes and sandals.” And Peter did so. “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me,” the angel told him. Peter followed him out of the prison, but he had no idea that what the angel was doing was really happening; he thought he was seeing a vision. They passed the first and second guards and came to the iron gate leading to the city. It opened for them by itself, and they went through it. When they had walked the length of one street, suddenly the angel left him. Then Peter came to himself and said, “Now I know without a doubt that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me from Herod’s clutches and from everything the Jewish people were hoping would happen.”’ (Acts 12:1-11 NIV)
Peter when he was in prison might have thought there was no way out and prepared himself for his death for to be with his Master Jesus in heaven forever. But when a church earnestly prayed for him and since it was not God’s time, God sends his angel and brought him out of the prison! From death back to life! Later, God used him more powerfully and gained many souls from the path of destruction to everlasting life through Jesus for the glory of God’s name!
There are many more people in the Bible, Moses, David, Daniel, Daniel’s friends, Paul, Silas and many others who got entrapped in a cage like the bird. Not because they did anything wrong, but when they remained calm and waited for God’s time like the bird they were brought out from the cage they were tied in and it turned out, their entrapment to be a blessing not just for them but for many others for the glory of God’s name!
Therefore, my dear friends, if you go through a hard situation like the caged bird not for something you did wrong, but nothing seems to work and completely stuck up, instead of crying out to many others to help you, remain calm and patient, call unto God, submit your petitions before God. God will deliver you out of your cage at the right time and He will lead you to greater blessing which will not only a blessing for you but for many others for the glory of his name! Therefore, as the Psalmist said- “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” (Psalm 46:10 NIV).
‘When hard pressed, I cried to the Lord; he brought me into a spacious place. The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me? The Lord is with me; he is my helper. I look in triumph on my enemies. It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in humans. It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes.’ (Psalm 118:5-9 NIV)
‘“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. The wild animals honor me, the jackals and the owls, because I provide water in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland, to give drink to my people, my chosen, the people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise.’ (Isaiah 43:18-21 NIV)
‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’ (Jeremiah 33:3 NIV)
‘Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.’ (Philippians 4:4-7 NIV)
‘Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.’ (1 Peter 5:6-7 NIV)
‘“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.’ (Isaiah 49:15-16 NIV)