The swallow

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Written By Mathilda Cronje

Fisher Folk sing a song called 'Pulling the Weeds' and in the song, they sing the line, 'Washing the dishes, Lord, washing the dishes, I'm living for Your Glory Lord, washing the dishes.'

Winter was on the way and I was washing the dishes. The basin is right by the backyard door and I became aware of a strange scratching sound from the courtyard. Uncertain of what it was, I cautiously made my way into the courtyard. To my surprise, I saw a swallow that had somehow got stuck in a tin vase and it was battling to get out. Careful not to touch the bird, I took the tin vase and shook it upwards to release it. I was so happy to see the swallow take flight and a feeling of gratitude came over me because I was instrumental in setting it free.

A few days later, as I was standing at my kitchen door once again, looking up into the clear blue sky, I saw about thirty swallows ducking and diving after insects in the air. I remember thinking that these birds were so free. They had no cares, they don't experience the burdens and the concerns of material things as we humans have. While watching the swallows fly, I noticed them diving straight at me and then rapidly making their way into the air again. This happened a few times. This made me wonder whether this could be the same swallow that I had rescued, along with his flock and that they metaphorically came to thank me and to say goodbye before departing for their summer habitat. 

As I recall what happened that day with the swallow, I think about the stages in our lives where we are stuck in our own 'tin vases' - struggling to get out of a difficult situation; bondage, bitterness, unforgiveness, lies, hatred, criticism, jealousy, selfishness, and so forth. We're stuck and we do not know how to get free. We struggle in our own power to be delivered from our 'tin vase'. Distracted by our situation, we feel hopeless, alone, and worried that there's no one to come to our rescue. But, deliverance is actually so close; in the form of repentance and forgiveness through Jesus Christ. Our Hope and Saviour is ready to deliver us from all our burdens. Now, all we have to do is let go of our sinful actions by repenting and allow Jesus to fill our lives.

Just as I heard the swallow scratching in the vase, so Jesus hears our 'scratching'. He urges us to, 'Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me' (Psalm 50:15, ESV). As our Rescuer, He says, 'Behold, I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come into him and dine with him, and he with Me' (Revelation 3:20, NASB). He sets us free and forgives us our trespasses. Like the freed swallow who took to the air in freedom, we too are set free; 'Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage' (Galatians 5:10, NKJV). 

Our lives become limitless when we are freed from our bondage. Just as the swallow carelessly and happily dives and twirls in the air, we can cast our burdens on the Lord and indulge ourselves in His Word. When we seek the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, in all sincerity, He will add so many other things to our lives. Things we can only dream about.

Psalm 37:4 (NASB)

'Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.'

All His promises are good; yes and amen!

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