I started writing on this blog for two reasons: first, as a creative outlet; and second, as an encouragement to the few people who might tune in. So here is that encouragement, spoken from freshly recent experience.
If I'm being honest, it's been a dry few months. I chose to live in a bubble of envy/worry/disappointment/insecurity because, perversely, it felt good. It felt like I was getting my way. I'd wake up each day with two choices - let God introduce me to a free life or continue forging my own way - and I'd choose the latter every time. Because I feared if I said yes to God's way and not my own, I would lose some right to myself. In the end, the simplest explanation was my disbelief that life in Christ was really thaaaat much better than the good things I had going.
But then it hit me as I ran on Sunset Cliffs one Friday afternoon. While running and praying and fighting His call to let go of myself, I finally gave in. God gave me the gracious, brief strength to say yes. I relented into the invitation to drop my grudges and right to self. I just let it go and He swept it away and suddenly there it was: freedom, full life. What I was missing, craving, and running from for so long. I knew it was better but damn - is it ever. In that one Spirit-filled second, I didn't want any of the burden I'd been holding so tightly. I wanted it gone, and I wanted more of that floating freedom that was suddenly buoying me up.
The verse "it is for freedom that Christ has set us free" used to strike me as vague and redundant. But I feel like I just uncovered the meaning. He frees us from the slavery of sin so we can experience a life of freedom - a life of choosing the Spirit over our own bitter envy and sin - and in the same breath say yes to all the external freedoms we've been promised.
That run was several weeks ago now. I'll still have to make a choice every day. And He'll still have stop me mid-stride when I've walked away from the free life. But now I see how silly it would be to say no to this offer. Today I'm grateful that God frees us from looking at ourselves to look at something far more beautiful instead.