Yesterday evening I walked out into our garage to find a hummingbird had flown in and was buzzing around the ceiling. At first I didn’t think anything of it. I called the kids out so they could see her (for some reason I felt like it was a she–not sure why). The kids thought she was really cool. I pointed out the differences in a hummingbird and other birds they had seen. It was a pretty nice teaching moment. Lori and Sarah had to run an errand so that took care of removing one car. I pulled my car out thinking that would allow her more room to fly out. Noah and I played in the front yard for a little while then went and checked on her–still in there.

I got the broom and tried to carefully guide her out, but she just kept flying right up by the ceiling and around the lights. It was starting to get a little darker outside so I turned all the lights off in the garage hoping she would see the natural light coming out of both open garage doors. Still she wouldn’t leave. She would fly for a while then land on a mounting bracket for the garage door opener. We could tell she was tired and scared, but nothing we did could make her find her way out. We decided to just hope for the best and went inside.

Right before bed I went to shut the garage doors for the night. Before I did I looked for the hummingbird. At first I didn’t see her and thought maybe she found her way out, but then I saw her perched on a bracket right up by the ceiling. She didn’t look very good. Her wings were kind of hanging loose, and I was really worried that she was dead or very close. I decided to try one last idea. I quietly got the ladder and placed it carefully on the wall closest to her. I slowly climbed up, and very carefully reached out my hand to hold her, thinking at any minute she would fly away, or worse, she would fall into my hands dead. Neither happened. I wrapped my fingers carefully around her tiny little body, and after about a second, felt her wake up and move. As quickly and carefully as I could, I climbed down the ladder and walked outside to the front yard. I thought I would put her on the ground just in case she was disoriented, but as soon as I opened my hand she flew over and landed on the tree in our front yard. I almost cheered I was so happy she was okay.

As I was thinking about this today, it came to me what a great analogy this is for us. Sometimes, through inattention, distraction, or more likely some foolish decision, we find ourselves in a scary, dark, and strange place. We try our best to find our way out, but things keep getting in our way or distracting us. After a while we grow weary, and we just want to stop and rest and maybe forget that we shouldn’t be here, but soon we realize that doesn’t help at all. Every so often we think we feel God trying to guide us out, but we’re so tired that we start doubting that He would bother with us after all this time in a place we know we shouldn’t be.

But when it finally gets darkest…

And we are at our absolute lowest…

He reaches down, wraps His wonderful hands around us, and takes us out of the dark and scary place and sets us free.