A Short Essay

I had an opportunity to share in front of church the other night a little about the story that God is writing in my own life. I thought it would be fun to share it here as well.

One of the things that Isaiah says in the book of Isaiah when he’s talking about the things that Jesus will do when he comes is he says that he will come to set captives free.

And that, I believe sums up the story of what God IS doing in my life, what he HAS been doing, and what he will continue to do.

I grew up in the church and in a Christian family and I desperately wish that because of that I could stand up here tonight and tell you that there was no sin that I had done, or that had been done against me that I needed to be set free from. But it would be a lie.

I have always believed that there are rules. Rules of behavior, rules of what I can and can not do, and about who I should and should not be. I have always believed somewhere deep down that my ability to follow the rules determined my value in life.

The problem is that I can’t always follow the rules. Sometimes I’m unable to, sometimes I’m unaware that there ARE rules, and sometimes I just think they’re dumb! But when I can’t or don’t follow them, I fall into the trap of feeling like I have to justify to myself and others why I didn’t follow them, or pay for my lack of measuring up.

This is ultimately called self-righteousness, and it is the captivity that God is working towards setting me free from. The truth is that my self-righteousness hurts the people around me, but even more importantly it hurts the One who suffered and died in order to set me free from this exhausting cycle of myself. To become aware of my self-righteousness and to choose to lessen my grip on it is scary because it’s familiar. It’s the only tool I’ve ever really had in dealing with pain.

My youngest daughter is three years old and is terrified of elevators. On her own, she would never set foot anywhere near one. However, when I am standing in the elevator and invite her in and hold on to her as the doors close and the elevator changes floors, she will get in. Because her trust in me is bigger than her fear of elevators.

God is big enough, loving enough and trustworthy enough for me to let go of my fear and choose to step on the elevator. I know that I am safe in his arms.

And the great news is that where I am safest, I am also the most free.

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