Finding Freedom In Faith

Date: March 19, 2024

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.  Ecclesiastes 3:11


Some would call it quirks of evolution, but when you believe that God created all things, you have to think that perhaps God smiled as He made some of the little creatures and birds of the air whose designs are so specialized that they do certain things that no other creature can do, yet can’t do what other birds or animals do quite easily.  Like what?  Consider the following:

A buzzard can be placed in a pen two to three meters square, entirely open at the top, and in spite of his ability to spread his powerful wings and soar–perhaps not with eagles but certainly above the treetops–he can’t get off the ground.  Why?  A buzzard has to have a running start, he needs three to five meters of runway to get airborne, and without it, the buzzard is imprisoned by only a fence.

Watch the sky in the evening and you are apt to see these little creatures dart and flit among the trees.  In the air, they have no rivals–either created or manufactured.  They have no competition, but I am told that if a bat is placed on a floor or an absolutely flat surface, it is immobile.  All it does is shuffle about helplessly, searching for some slight elevation from which it can throw itself into the air and take off.

I wouldn’t suggest you try the following, though I admit to have experimented with this one as a boy.  Take a bumblebee and drop it into an open jar or glass, and in all probability it will buzz its wings and wear them out trying to take off, but it can’t.  It hits the side of the glass and never gets airborne because it can’t see the opening at the top.  It becomes a prisoner of its design.

There you have the quirks of design in buzzards, bats, and bees.  But is it so different with people?  The upward look requires faith, breaking out of the rut, doing something different from plodding ahead, step after step, and until people are wiser than buzzards, bats, and bees they are often imprisoned by their own gloom and despair.

I’ve been thinking much of the fear and despair which have gripped so many.  Fear and how we live with it has become a hot topic.  Consider the vast number of people who go to their doctors certain that something is terribly wrong with them, their stomach knotted, their digestion upset, their hands clammy and sweaty, and their hearts pounding.

As the people of David’s day made their way to the temple each year they sang, “I lift up my eyes to the hills–where does my help come from?   My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth” (Psalm 121:1-2).

It’s the upward look, focusing on the Lord, that lets you rise above the pen which imprisons you, the jar which restricts you, and the floor which keeps you from soaring above the rubble and ruin.

Missing in the lives of so many is a connection with God which assures them that they are not alone, they are not abandoned, and they are not surrounded in a prison of despair.

God can be your refuge, your strength, your help!  It’s the upward look that makes the difference.  “How can I know that God cares about me?” you may ask.  The psalmist answered, “Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him” (Psalm 34:8).  So it’s up to you.  Do you need to get airborne on the wings of faith?  You can, and your ascent by faith can begin today. Even right now as you listen. Remember, it is the upward look that lets you focus on God and take your eyes off fear and the circumstances that depress.

Resource reading:  Ecclesiastes 3:1-13