The Path of Freedom (part 9)

 
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I think we all struggle with brokenness.  Sorry if that feels like I just threw a cold glass of water in your face.  I did so with the best of intentions.  But seriously, isn’t it about time we just admit what our hearts know to be true?  Wouldn’t it be easier to live if we put down the masks and stopped pretending everything is okay? 

I remember walking into church a few months back and a pastor said, “hey brother, how are you doing?”  I responded and said, “Not well at all.  My marriage is at a breaking point.  Please pray for us.”  His reaction was somewhere between puzzled and shocked.  He seemed totally unprepared for raw honesty.  I can’t blame him.  Normally we walk around saying “I’m good.”  And if it’s in church, we may even throw in a “God bless you.”  But inside we’re falling apart.   

And that’s how I feel today as I’m writing this post.  If I’m not being attacked with how I won’t make it in the future, I’m reminded of my past.  Then I start to worry about every little thing.  It’s a sick cycle that often rears its ugly head.  In response, there’s a temptation to sooth in a variety of ways (lust, alcohol, food, exercise, complaining, etc.…), but I know that those things will never truly satisfy me.  Sure, maybe for a moment, but I’ll be thirsty again.  So, what am I to do?  What’s the solution to find relief?  How can I break free from the thoughts in my mind that continue to attack me?  Is it a program?  Psychology?  A 12-step method? 

No, it’s none of those things.  I am convinced the only solution is a person: Jesus.  Period.  The only way I’ll ever remain free from the power of sin, temptation, and darkness (Ephesians 6: 12) is to fall completely in love with the righteousness, peace, and joy that is Jesus.  There is no solution inside of myself.  My determination, discipline, strategy and focus will not save me, my relationship or my son.  There is only one who can save me and he paid the penalty for my sin and nailed it all to a cross.  He took my place.  He ripped up my death warrant and walked to the post to be beaten, ripped apart, and to die a slow, agonizing, and lonely death on a cross.  He was crucified for me.  For you.  For us.  For the world.

But he didn’t stop there.  He also defeated death and was raised to life by his father.  And because I believe in this, I am saved (Romans 10:9).  Seems too good to be true, doesn’t it?  But wait, there’s more!  Jesus also said he came to give us abundant life (John 10:10).  Hmmm…abundant life.  But what about the way I feel right now?  You know, the whole being attacked in my mind thing? 

Those attacks are bound to happen.  There’s no promise in the Bible that life for a Christian will be easy, but it will be abundant.  And that’s a decision I have to make that requires faith.  The emotion of fear is loud.  But it will always be silenced with truth.  Today, fear wiggled its way into my mind.  I started to think about my past and all the pain.  I felt depressed and hopeless that my future will not be good.  But as I started to pray, Jesus reminded me of a powerful passage in Isaiah and I’d like to share it with you as I close out this series of posts.

Isaiah 43: 18-19

“Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old.  Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it?  I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” 

Amazing how fear vanished as I read this promise in God’s word.  Here’s to Jesus for bringing living water in the wilderness and desert places of my heart!  I hope this encourages you as much as it did me.  God bless you and please continue to pray for me. 

We’re in this together,
Travis