I was sat at table painting a stone for the CKS art installation commemorating 165 years since they were founded, when a bird flew in through the open french window.
We shut the internal doors and opened all the appropriate windows, hoping it would fly out, but no, it simply battered itself against the windows we couldn’t open and then perched panting on a picture frame. I fully expected it to be one of the resident baby Blue Tits that clamour in the apple tree for their parents’ attention, but no, it was of all things, a Nuthatch, something we rarely see in the garden let alone in the house!
In the end, after further capers round our dining room, I briefly caught it and steered it out the window, after which it sat panting on the pergola, recovering its equilibrium before flying off, none the worse for its adventure. We now have some excellent photos of a Nuthatch that we wouldn’t otherwise have!
A bit like that Nuthatch we sometimes get ourselves into situations we really shouldn’t be in, and didn’t intend. It’s very easy to flap around madly without really looking at what the options are, and in doing so get ourselves in a state. Sometimes it needs someone else to help steer us in the direction of a way forward, so that once again we feel we have the freedom to continue with our lives.
Many of us will have family or friends who can help us when we get ourselves trapped in a difficult place, but sometimes we need help from people who we wouldn’t normally have contact with. Whichever option is applicable, what we really need is to stop and calm down, and then we’ll see our own way out of the situation, with or without external assistance. Either way, stilling ourselves before God and seeking his guidance or intervention is a very real option.
Many of the Psalms were written when someone was in a time of distress and turned to God for direction and help. For example Psalm 47, includes some possibly familiar phrases: “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble… Be still, and know that I am God.” Whilst reading scripture can help, doing what they suggest is even better; stilling ourselves and as another is psalm puts it, “In you, Lord my God, I put my trust. I trust in you, do not let me be put to shame.” God doesn’t want to shame us, or see us shame ourselves, he simply wants us to be humble enough to admit we’ve got in a pickle, and offers his help to get us out of it.
If you’ve got yourself into a difficult situation that you know you don’t want to stay in, try to still yourself, admit you can’t get yourself out of it without some direction or inspiration, and ask God to provide you with that. Sometimes it might need a conversation with someone else, someone who will listen and not condemn, who can point you in the direction of options for the best way forward; the clergy are one group of people you can turn to if that’s the case, and you don’t have to be part of the worshipping community to seek our help.
God wants us all to fly free from what troubles us, so that we can live the lives he created us for. Let his be the hands that steer you in the right direction.