Before I came to know Christ, I craved freedom and it meant different things to me at different times in my life. Freedom meant doing what I wanted to and when I wanted to do it, it meant no ties, no real reflection, and a life of pursuing what made me happy. Somehow through all of this so called freedom I never felt really free, because in reality I was a slave to my own delusion. A delusion in which I placed my freedom in my own capable hands, but the problem was I wasn’t very capable. I believed freedom could be found in the world, through traveling, by independence, finding adventure and a lot of other people, places and things that were supposed to fill the void. The fact is I was lonely, unfulfilled and felt tied down…to what I wasn’t sure which was why I kept fighting for that unattainable freedom. Then it happened freedom found me…I gave my life to Christ and when I was raised from the baptismal waters I remember feeling like a light had literally come upon me and filled up every dark spot that I could never bring light to by my own accord.
The freedom I felt coming out of that water was indescribable, it was exactly what I had been searching for all my life. This was pure beautiful freedom. The freedom granted by Christ, the freedom that was bought with the ultimate price to break my chains, allowing me to soar, granting me grace and the peace that had always alluded me. My life changed. I was no longer a slave, no longer burdened, but free. I was happy, sincerely, genuinely joyful. The funny thing is the world still tries to deceive me with its lure of false freedom and although I know better I always have to be on guard. Keeping my eyes open, and my heart and mind filled with the word of God as my protection. The traps are still there, the temptations always linger, calling me to its lies and reminding me of all its false promises, if I just gave in, just put that foot back in the door. It invites me in for a quick visit, but I know that once I enter, getting out will deplete my soul, spirit, mind and body. By the grace of God, I remember where that door leads, and I look back at the footsteps of tears, uncertainty, heartache, fear, loneliness, sin, regret, and I thank God for giving me freedom through Christ and each day I try to never walk through the doors of slavery to the girl I was before I had wings.
I’m constantly amazed at how much I learn from my daughter. She has a lot of wisdom in the little nine year old body, more sometimes than I do! This evening was one of those nights that her nuggets of wisdom were laid heavily on my heart. We have bible study on Wednesdays and we haven’t been attending because of the weather and being sick. Tonight was the first night that the weather although cold wasn’t too brutal and we were both feeling well enough to venture out. After school we had some errands and a quick dinner at Panera we got home around 6:30 pm. Anya had homework and I had some loose ends to tie up at work. She was moving slow and I wasn’t moving much faster. Time was ticking away and before we knew it the clock said 7:30. Anya looks at me pitifully and says, “I guess we can’t go to church.” I wanted to go, but I won’t lie I was feeling pretty comfortable on my couch and the thought of going back out in the cold didn’t have me jumping up.
I started making excuses, saying she still wasn’t done with her homework and we were going to be late and so forth. Then I got kind of annoyed because well… she was making me feel bad! Here was my 9 year old saying who cares if we’re late, the point is we’re going and I miss church. Yep, that made me feel like a real jerk. I started in on the homework again although I knew it was me, I will make an exception with unfinished homework because it really does mean more to me that my kid loves to go to church. After some back and forth we went to church. I’m ashamed to admit I wasn’t in the best mood. She went to her class and I went to mine. As I sat there listening to the lesson in Galatians on the fruit of the spirit, I realized I wasn’t using my fruit! But… Anya was as she convinced me patiently, kindly and gently why we should be at church. I almost left in the middle to go apologize to her. After class I went downstairs and I spotted her with her big smile and ponytails gleefully skipping towards me. She put her arms around me and I gave her a big kiss and said I was sorry. She actually apologized to me because she thought she was kind of mean to me. I assured her she wasn’t and thanked her for encouraging me and loving church enough not to give up on going.
Wow! What a lesson tonight. I am so glad I went and I’m so thankful that I have such a sweet daughter with a love for God, church and me enough to know when her momma needs a push in the right direction. Out of the mouth of babes right?
Galatians 3:3 “Are you so foolish ? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human efforts?”
Anyone who has a goal they’re trying to achieve understands that it takes self discipline, a plan, and a willingness to see it through. You may have the perfect recipe ready to reach your goal. You have all the right ingredients, the step by step instructions and it appears as though you are on the right track then all of a sudden everything stalls. You can’t understand why? You’re doing everything right so what happened, why are you at a standstill or worse everything seems to be falling apart? Often times we miss the most important ingredient and that is we don’t include God in our goals. Instead we rely on our own human efforts. Before we purse any goal we first need to take it to God, if we don’t we’re just spinning our wheels. When we take it to God he gives us the necessary guidance, tools, and people we need to achieve our goals. I think one of the primary reasons people give up on their goals or get frustrated is because they didn’t turn to God first and then keep turning to him! They decide to rely completely on self and when they do that it slowly begins to fall apart. It is foolish to do it on your own when you have a loving God who wants you to succeed and will help you every step of the way. Our human efforts have limits, but the possibilities with God are limitless! Aim for the sky but look up while doing it and nothing is impossible!