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Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Seduced and Trapped

It was a warm sunny day and our entire family was out enjoying our new community.  My husband and I stopped to admire a beautiful bed of flowers near the pool gate.  There were splashes of yellow and pops of purple, truly a lovely display of greenery and a warm glimpse of spring.  Suddenly, sporadic movement within the flower bed caught our attention.

As we approached, scuffling and flapping noises grew louder.  Upon further inspection, we discovered two birds trapped under a protective wire mesh!  Mesh that was intended to keep animals out was serving as a temporary confinement for these small creatures.  Clearly our presence near the bed startled the birds and caused this recent flurry of activity.  It occurred to my husband and me that those two birds represent how many of us experience life- seduced and trapped.

We imagine the birds saw the flowers from afar and were seduced by what they saw.
The vibrant colors enticing them ever closer to the flower bed until they realized too late that the wire mesh would serve as a jail.  The birds were trapped.  Flapping around wildly, afraid of their current plight, trying to escape now that they were fully enclosed.  No way of escape and no hope.

Temptation for humans comes in many forms.  Temptation can look like the delicious strawberry covered cupcakes lining the display window at the nearest bakery.  It can look like the sales tag on the newest and hottest pair of shoes on the shelves in the shoe section.  It can look like the juicy conversation that is occurring on social media between two close friends.  Temptation can also look like the loyal coworker who knows just the right thing to say just at the right time.  We are seduced by the intense but ephemeral sensation we associate with the temptation.  In the the birds' case the flowers represented all things that are flashy, sweet and tempting.  Even if we have vowed time and time again not to engage in that particular activity we find ourselves, once again, trapped.  Matthew 26:41 tells us that "the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."

Thankfully, my husband and I were there on that day, at that exact moment, to carefully release them.  We do not know for how long they had been in that state, without food or freedom.  We do not know for how long they had wished to no longer be in that state.  They were fluttering around frantically, unable to break free while expending a great deal of energy in futility.  My husband saved them.  He knelt down and located a tear in the mesh.  He did not ask them how they got into this mess.  He did not chastise them with comments about repeating these actions in the future.  No questions, no judgement, just freedom.  Sometimes that is exactly and all that we need, someone to show us the way out.

God placed us there at that moment for the birds, to offer an escape.  I Corinthians 10:13 tells us that "No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind.  And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.  But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it."

Escape can come in the form of a phone call or text from a trusted friend just at the right moment or your phone dying just as you were about to visit that one particular website or make that purchase.  How long have you been in your current state?  Are you aware of the escapes God sends or are you ignoring them?  If God cares enough about those birds to place us there at that time to release them, how much more does He care for you and your freedom from seduction?  Look for the escape.  It is there.

Shatanese Reese is a freelance blogger and author of a future book who resides in Atlanta, GA with her husband and their six children. She enjoys walks on the beach and colorful sunrises. Shatanese’s goal is to find the extraordinary in every day moments. Follow Shatanese on YouTube, FaceBook, Twitter, Instagram, and Periscope.