Ten years ago, my life was changed forever.
It seems like any milestone, there is always some struggle approaching it. I have talked about my recent situation as being one of the Israelites out in the desert, wandering for forty years. The past six months or so have been quite challenging. I have suffered anxiety, depression, and hopelessness of never getting out of the desert. Like the Israelites, I have complained about the hard ground I sleep on, the manna that came from heaven whenever I was dying of hunger. I too, like the Israelites, was a approaching a milestone. Theirs was freedom from slavery, the promised land. Mine was a little less dramatic. My milestone was 10 years living as a slave to Christ.
I do not use that word, slave, lightly. Paul used it often to describe the spiritual reality of those who follow Jesus. After a decade of trying to love others as myself, put God’s ideals first, and generally become less important, I am still unworthy of the work of the cross. Praise God that it’s not about how much I can do, or fail to do. I am still keenly aware of my own desires, my pride, my “goals”. These things make me chafe against the manacles I have willingly adopted. My slavery is often not easy, but I have faith even in the darkest of nights that Jesus is kind master, worthy of obedience.
May God of heaven and earth, free every captive, both physically chained and spiritually. May he bring redemption to dark places and lead wanderers home.