“Come,’ each one cries, ‘Let me get wine! Let us drink our fill of beer! And tomorrow will be like today, or even far better.’” Isaiah 56:12
There is no way around it. “Quick! Three beers!” is exactly the sound made by the Olive-sided Flycatcher. The field guides indicate that is what these birds say, and I had heard it for myself on several bird-call recordings. However, until I actually saw an Olive-sided Flycatcher perched on a dead branch and singing that phrase, I really did not believe it. Standing on the edge of a forest clearing and listening to a bird ordering beer is quite a unique experience. Olive-sided Flycatchers spend the summer in coniferous forests of North America, but they can be found throughout most of the continent during migration.
As you read through today’s Bible verse, you likely recognized someone, perhaps even yourself. First you hear the urgent desire for something: “Let me get wine! Let us drink our fill of beer!” Then you hear the false hope that the desire for something will bring fulfillment: “Tomorrow will be like today, or even far better.” In our human experience we see the pattern over and over. Whether the thing we desire is alcohol, drugs, sex, fame, power, money or something else—we think it will bring happier days and a brighter tomorrow. Sadly, it never does, and we find ourselves trapped in a cycle from which we cannot escape. The Apostle Paul put it this way: “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do” (Romans 7:15). However, there is an answer: “Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 7:24-25). “Because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of Life has set me free from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:2). Receive that freedom now.
Heavenly Father, I confess that I often feel trapped and unable to escape. I thank you for the freedom that you have promised through your Son, Jesus. Amen.