1 If the Lord had not been on our side—

    let Israel say—

2 if the Lord had not been on our side

    when people attacked us,

3 they would have swallowed us alive

    when their anger flared against us;

4 the flood would have engulfed us,

    the torrent would have swept over us,

5 the raging waters

    would have swept us away.

6 Praise be to the Lord,

    who has not let us be torn by their teeth.

7 We have escaped like a bird

    from the fowler’s snare;

the snare has been broken,

    and we have escaped.

8 Our help is in the name of the Lord,

    the Maker of heaven and earth.

In this psalm, David describes a hopeless battle in which the odds were stacked against God’s people. We read however that the Lord intervened and saved the people from almost certain destruction. In verse 7 the term “escaped” suggests that they had been captured for a time. The Lord can and does still save his children from situations like this but he also allows us, at times to be captured.

I want to look at the idea of being captured or caged. A lot of things in life seem to happen to us without our consent. Some of it is good, some of it is bad, but aren’t we acutely more aware of the bad? There’s a multitude of things that might have us feeling particularly caged; cancer, old age, debt, dysfunctional relationships, parental obligations, or… fill-in-the-blank.

Why does God let this happen? Furthermore, why does he let it persist? In thinking about the freedom birds have, one caught my eye outside my window. I marvel at the inspirational beauty of their flight and the sweet, intricate melodies they sing. Usually, birds don’t sing mid-flight, only when they are still can we sample their songs. It is sad to see a bird caged, having its flight taken from it. However, if he can’t fly, he sure can sing!

If we find ourselves caged, let us sing as well. Let us occupy ourselves with doing the things that bless others and in doing so, discover the joy of a new purpose. After all, no one enjoys hearing their children sing more than their heavenly Father. We can have more fulfillment being caged and singing our songs to the Lord, as we would flapping our wings all day for ourselves. One day we will be free from these cages and we will be singing songs of praise as we soar among the clouds. Just keep singin’ – unless you’re that dumb crow outside my window cawing at the crack of dawn…

Jonathan Duncan

Subscribe to the Daily Fill