Why the caged bird sings

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Dr. Angulus Wilson
Dr. Angulus Wilson


“And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed and sang praises unto God”

Acts 16:16

In many ways life’s trials and troubles have a way of discouraging humanity. It is in the storms of life and the daily injustices of society that a person can be literally weighted down with despair. Satan and sin have a way of taking the joy out of living. It is because of life’s tribulations, that we are forced to have to find new ways to overcome, and struggle through unwanted and unbearable difficult situations.

  1. Why the caged bird sings is a metaphor for us today for it symbolizes the struggles of the one who is held captive in a situation against there will.
  2. Why the caged bird sings is a picture of being in a position that highlights human suffering and yet be willing to praise God anyhow.
  3. Why the caged bird sings is the sound of melodic hope in a devastating situation.

The irony of this title suggests the notion that it is all right to be caged in troubles against ones desires and have a song in the human spirit and soul. It is an explanation of how to have Joy in spite of surrounding circumstances.

Textual Background

Paul and Silas are on their second missionary journey in the region of Asia when they run into satanic opposition. Paul under the power of the Holy Ghost rebukes the underworld and sets free a young woman who has been held captive as a prisoner of an evil spirit. Her captors were men, who were under the influence of money. They prostituted her bondage for personal spoils and gains.

When the brothers delivered her soul, these men had them charged, falsely arrested, whipped, and put in prison. Here is where our text begins; it opens with the apostles in the penitentiary locked in solitary confinement, beaten and placed in an object of torture called “the stocks.” They were given a divine opportunity by God to be on display in their trouble. There is opportunity for the soldiers of Jesus Christ in the cage of adversity. Trials and tribulations can be strategic locations for the witness of Jesus Christ. When the problems of life confine us then is the hour for prayer and worship. For it is through the seasons of adversity that we will grow in our dependence and relationship with the Master.

“The Caged Bird” sings because it was designed to sing. Whether free or confined, the setting for which it exist has no bearing on the tune of it’s song.

  • The caged bird sings because it was designed to sing.
  • The caged bird sings because it cannot help but sing.
  • The caged bird sings because it has to worship the creator.
  • The caged bird sings because the confinement of its life does not legislate its joy!

As a University, we have been given the privileged to represent Christ as his ambassadors in the Midnight hour of this age. The world is filled with darkness, loneliness, pain, isolation, difficulty, trouble, persecution, and much more. However, we will not fear, for our God is on the throne and he is watching over us, and awaiting our request to deliver us. Just like our brothers, if we are willing to obey God at all cost we too can sing as the caged bird does. We too can have a hope that will transcend despair, For we have the same God, we have the same hope and we have the same access to the Father through his son Jesus Christ.

I believe that in our season of adversity, we can learn from the Apostles. Because of their faith, the following things happened:

  • Their hearts and minds- transformed into a state of worship.
  • Their disposition-became HOPEFUL in spite of being oppressed.
  • They embraced an eager desire to pray and worship instead of complain.

I learn from this lesson, that when you are in Christ Jesus, salvation and deliverance from the trials of life always come when you least expect it. I know that in the midnight hour of our dilemmas, it is very hard to see the salvation of the lord. Nevertheless, God is always watching his children and he is very much attentive to their every need. The brother’s salvation was present in the HOPE of the resurrection. HOPE in a better life to come in heaven, is a form of salvation from the midnight hour. There is salvation available for us as well in our season of adversity, so let us continue to worship and praise God in spite of our difficulty. He is worthy of the praise, honor and glory. He will respond when he is ready to intervene.

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  • Lilian KOenig

    I heard the board was meeting at 12noon today.  Is it open to the students at FPU, or just board members?  Where is it held?
    Thank-you
    Lilian Koenig   FPU Grad.student

  • Steve Varvis

    Sorry Lilian, the meeting ended at noon.  Steve

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  • Erin

    Hi, Sara

    I hope this isn’t weird, but I ran into your blog on student life while doing research for my senior thesis.

    I go to APU and am doing my senior thesis on sexism in CCCU schools like Fresno Pacific and APU. I’ve created a survey on the topic that I would really like to distribute to your school somehow.

    I thought this would stir some interest in FPU students.

    Would you be open to this or helping me in getting it distributed to the FPU population? Any help you can offer would be greatly appreciated. I’ve already distributed the survey to my classmates and have received a good amount of information.

    If you’re willing to help, please contact me at eahchoy10@apu.edu

    Thank you for your time,

    Erin A.C.