|Prisoner Shackles by Jonathan Dresner|
flickr.com_3072374801_db98b198a7_CC BY-ND 2.0
"But I am freeing you from the chains on your wrists." Jeremiah 40:4a
Tommy walked outside the iron gates a free man, carrying all he owned inside a crisp manila envelope - life simplified. Endless possibilities stretched out before him promised life renewed, but somehow life got crazy on the outside, his past hijacked him and freedom didn't seem so rich or desirable, after all (from the movie, Crazy on the Outside, 2010, starring Tim Allen).
Sometimes we're a lot like Tommy. We find ourselves suddenly unshackled - finally free from our past - and yet we bend down and pick up our own manila envelopes. We peek inside at the past, at the little life we own and suddenly our dreams and desires skew; they veer way off the freedom road.
It's an old, old story and the ending remains the same:
Only God frees
Throughout history God said, leave everything behind - all your possessions, your little life and all it's gods - and follow Me.
Live life unshackled.
And when we do?
God builds us up, prospers us
God plants us, establishes deep roots
God stays with us, protects and guides us
God restores us, brings health and healing
What's inside your manila envelope? Are you willing to leave it at the curb, walk away and follow God on the freedom road? I know, it's easier hanging onto what we know rather than hoping in what we can't see. Hope goes against everything we are, but dig deep and scream, "Help!" He'll come alongside and show you the way - that's the kind of God He is. He's living and breathing and always there when we call. His greatest desire is to free us, restore us to who He created us to be.
Father, it's so hard to leave behind what we know and walk towards hope in what we cannot see, but today we cry out, "Help!" and take that first step toward freedom - trusting you.