This week has been an incredible week for me. Yes, I would LOVE to share with you! As many of you know, on November 3rd, I dislocated and broke my ankle. After same day surgery, plates, screws, and weeks of not being able to leave the house followed by weeks in a cast and restrictions, this past Tuesday found the doctor saying to me, "You can put a sneaker on that foot now!!" I can't even begin to explain the excitement and joy felt. For the first time in months, there was a true sense of FREEDOM. I could move and go and do as I wasn't able to do in a very long time. I got into the car and called my husband - poor man, I was so excited he couldn't even understand what I was saying. It truly was an amazing feeling.
As I drove down the highway to work, my mind started racing. I praised God for His graciousness in helping me through this ordeal, for providing me patience when I didn't think I had any left; for providing me healing in such a positive way; for giving me hope. Yet, He kept bringing me back to the word - FREEDOM. I prayed on the word all week, getting a richer appreciation for all the goodness God has given me and the freedoms that I have because of Simple Faith in Him, in Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
It starts with the most humbling, that of being free of a continued sinful state. Yes, I am a sinner. Yes, I have grave sins that I have, and continue to, commit. The blessing comes from understanding how our Dear Savior Jesus gave up everything - dying a death so horrific in nature as he took on the sins of all of us. The love he shows us, showed me, throughout his life - until the very end - is something I will continue to be humbled by each day I live. It provided me the FREEDOM to live knowing that my sins have been washed away by his blood. I can live in joy and hope by believing Jesus died for me so that my sins are forgiven. There is such freedom in that knowledge, in that love.
I also rejoice in the knowledge that my eternal resting place will be heaven. The FREEDOM that I receive through Simple Faith in believing that Jesus is my savior provides me the understanding that one day I will see Him in paradise. I will be reunited with my loved ones who have passed before me and will give praise to our father in heaven. Freedom from Hell is an incredible release - and I know, very honestly and purely, that my eternal home will be Heaven's beauty.
There is another freedom that we can gain. God gives it to us, and we have the power to give it to others. It is the FREEDOM of forgiveness. It is amazing the chains unforgiveness can have on us. When we ask for someone's forgiveness, and they provide it to us, it is an amazing release - the chains have been broken, especially for us. It is an incredible feeling when somebody says to us, "I forgive you." The freedom that comes with those words provides a wonderful sense of peace. Difficulties arise when someone hurts us and they don't come forward, asking for our forgiveness. We can hold onto that pain, that hurt, for days, months, years, lifetimes. Yet, the pain typically doesn't reside with the other person - the pain resides with us. It can bring about many unflattering sides to our personalities - mainly bitterness. Maybe the lack of forgiveness isn't towards another person, maybe it is for a sin WE committed, something WE did that hurt us so deeply, we can't seem to forgive ourselves. If our Heavenly Father, who created us and loves us more than any other, is willing to forgive EVERY sin we could commit, who are we to believe we are greater than him that WE should hold onto that sin. God brings us joy in that forgiveness, FREEDOM from bitterness and ugliness that can come from holding on to an unforgiving heart (whether it is towards someone else or ourselves). The freedom that comes from letting go and letting God gives us the power to live the life He wants us to live, in Him. We need to forgive as God forgives us. There is such freedom in that action.
So, the removal of a cast provided all this thought on FREEDOM and how much of it is provided through Simple Faith of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. As I cried tears of joy throughout the week, reflecting on this word, I realized how much the Holy Spirit fills us up when we are released in freedom. Having faith brings joy, that joy brings understanding, that understanding brings freedom, that freedom brings everlasting life. May you all have peace in knowing that the freedom that has been bought for us by Jesus brings us a lifetime of love, now and for eternity.
"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery." (NIV) Galatians 5:1