2017-04-19 - Freedom
In the last few days of Lent, often known for being a season of prayer and fasting, I was simultaneously taking part in an unrelated period of fasting. The fast was for about sixteen hours before a medical test. In the time it took place it gave me a chance to get some perspective on some things I often take for granted. As I listened to radio and TV commercials, all seeming to mention food of any number of varieties, I tried to focus on the things I was able to take part in rather than focusing on those that I needed to temporarily avoid. I also thought about how so many people around the country and the world don’t necessarily have the ease of access to many foods I might whimsically enjoy. They also might not be able to walk across the room at any given time, to get a refreshing snack or even some clean drinking water. So even the liquids I could readily consume for much of the time of fast was a blessing to me. After the test, some goldfish crackers and a cola to drink seemed quite tasty, more than usual. I was reminded of times while growing up, when we had special treats like ice cold soda (we called it “pop”) in a can and burgers on the grill with potato chips, at our Dad’s company picnics each year. When something is an occasional delight, it is more extraordinary. Similarly types of fasting, food or otherwise, can help us to focus and be grateful for that which we have been freely given, or have quite readily, so we can recognize how much of our lives are gifted to us.
God gave us freedom in him, and showed us how we can be safe and content in his letter, the Bible. Before we choose Him and understand how his instructions protect us, it might not always seem like freedom. After doing it our own way for whatever length of time, we learn that his way is much better, because true freedom means having a father that sees the big picture, and has a plan that includes all we need and desire as we were made. Real freedom is in God’s truth, and his truth sets us free to be all he created us to be in his service. I’m so grateful for a Father who understands what freedom really means, and is patient with me as I learn tidbits about it with him teaching me. It warms my heart and makes me feel so loved.
“Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:17-19)
All scripture references are from the King James Version (KJV) unless otherwise noted.