Looking to the Other Side

The building was large and imposing. Stories of marble and stone rose upward and culminated in a mosaic dome of steel beams and tinted glass. Sounds of people echoed through the massive corridor as they hurried on their way to appointments, talking on cell phones or exchanging morning greetings. Coffee vendors welcomed their regular customers and bagged pastries as the cash registers rang out.

The need of another had brought me to this place and required a time of simply waiting. I settled in with a cup of coffee and something to read when a sound caught my ears that was foreign to this environment ~ a chirp. Following it, I found the source; a tiny sparrow who’s energy consisted of fluttering from pane to pane looking for the way that led to the other side.  Occasionally he would land in the ficus trees planted in the courtyard atrium and then return to the windows that beckoned his desire for freedom.

I watched sympathetically and approached an employee who told me the sparrow had entered through revolving doors one winter day and has been a resident ever since. The building was simply too large to capture him, so out of compassion several employees made it their job to provide regular food and water for the imprisoned little bird.

I returned to my seat and considered the sparrow’s confinement. He was able to survive in this environment, but the limitations were clear. He could fly, but he couldn’t soar. He chirped, but he didn’t sing and it was evident that he longed for the life he was created for on the other side of the panes. I found myself wishing I could release him from his captivity, feeling pity for his bondage. Getting into this trap had been easy, getting out was beyond him. Unless someone rescued my feathered friend, he would be forever separated from his true home. Then it struck me ~ his condition parallels our own.

Sin is an easy trap to wander into and, though we live confined by the consequences, God in His mercy, still provides for our needs. What’s more, His provisions are good and that causes many to trust the pleasures of the material world and ignore the eternal. But not all. Some sense that there is more; that behind the provision stands a Provider with fullness of life unrealized in our present surroundings.

The 13th chapter of 1 Corinthians puts it this way ~ “Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain; faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

Within the confines of this fallen world, God has provided three powerful resources to sustain us. Faith in the One who made us, hope in His promises and love that flows from His heart. Love is the greatest for it is a divine attribute of God that holds out deliverance from our captivity to sin and death. Love opens wide the door that leads to eternal life and Jesus is that door.

Unlike the sparrow, we have a choice. We can remain in the trap, being content with the comforts of the material world, denying faith’s offer and inviting eternal bondage.  Or we can choose to set our sights on Jesus, trusting with full assurance, that the One who gave His life to save ours will also fulfill His promise to take us safely to the other side.

Is Jesus your Savior?  If so, then you have already been assured the promise of release. It will be a freedom like nothing you have known and, on that day, you will do more than fly … you will soar!

 

 

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