Monday, January 20, 2014

Don't forget where you have come from...

Don't forget where you have come from...

Ro8:21 It was for freedom that Christ has set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.

People use to say to my husband, you never forgot where you came from. My husband could talk to the President of the United States or the young boy with a handicap. It made no difference to him who you were, you were valuable.

I was raised in Alabama. I can't help but think back to some of my childhood days on this Martin Luther King day. Movies like The Help are not something I enjoy watching because it brings back horrible memories of the past.  Memories I have tried to forget but in days like today it burst through my memory like yesterday.  I even wept as I shared these days with my future daughter and law.

Yes just like yesterday I remember when the soda fountain was closed in our local drug store. I remember the blacks having to sit in the back of the school bus as they were escorted on the bus and moved into the white schools. There was an air of fear around during those days. Not of my friends moving into my school but of the crosses being burned in yards and churches being burned down, men being hanged. We didn't talk about it much in our home but I remember the news on our black and white television set.

Women have gone through such freedom. Jesus talked to the Samaritan woman at the well. He told her He knew all about her and that He was the living water she longed for. This was not something done in those days. Since then women have gained respect and freedom to vote, serve office and work. I remember when we began to wear pants as dress clothes, like it would give us more freedom. We even have had a hard time finding out role in this world as a woman because of the independence we have gained.

I think of the war between the North and the South where blacks were set free. I once heard a story that even though blacks were set free many slaves did not leave the homes that had them as slaves because they did not know how to live in freedom.

I have had such struggle as Jesus has set me free. He has moved me out of many addictions, comfort zones that were enslaving, unhealthy relating to people such as manipulation and control. Maybe through withdrawing myself in disapproval. Getting mad when things didn't go my way.

To be free can be a scary thing. You can go through many struggles as you learn what it means to live in freedom. To live by faith is to learn to be led by the Spirit. Not the voices of this world or the flesh or the evil one but by God. It can be a scary thing because you not only may, but will fail. Then what? It is an illusion that to stay in your comfort and the world, that you keep making smaller and smaller so you can control, is happiness.

When I am tempted to draw back into my slavery, to my trying to be good enough and live under a list of rules and in my comfort zones where I think I will feel safe, to people pleasing, I have to remember where I have come from. Where God has brought me from. That life is worth living and people are worth loving and it is worth the risk of failure and even rejection, because our God is in control. He promises to use it all for good. What an amazing promise. Even when we blow it God brings good out of it, even our sin. So how can we not throw ourselves to the wind and live the life we were meant to live. The life Christ died for, for us to be free. So do not return to a life of slavery but live. It is for freedom we have been set free.

I once told someone I love, who is in prison, you know more freedom that we all do on the outside. Freedom begins in the heart and moves out. Freedom has always had a high cost to pay. Jesus gave it all for our freedom. Don't go back to a yoke of slavery. You are valuable. So much so He gave His life. So live and laugh and cry and sing and rejoice and love and worship and be free for the King has come and He sings and delights over you.  He loves you with an everlasting, faithful, uniquely designed love just for you.  We need to remember the price paid by others for our freedom.  We need to remember the price Christ paid and where we have come from.  We need to remember the cross and to be left in a state of worship of Him now and forever more.