Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Let Freedom Ring

I love everything that is the 4th of July.

I love the heat...not exactly getting THAT this year.

I love spending time with my loved ones....missing Daddy for yet ANOTHER holiday this year.

I love picnic food diet says....not this year!

But most of all I love the fireworks....ding ding ding!!! I knew that water view from my bedroom would come in handy, oh, everyday!

Fireworks to me represent freedom. Probably because they play all the "USA" songs while they are going. I get that "stop the baseball game and look up at the sky" feeling that they captured oh-so-well in The Sandlot. They give me goosebumps. They make me cry. I love fireworks.

I've been thinking a lot lately about freedom. It means different things to different people somehow. Some people think freedom gives them the excuse to do what they want when they want no matter who it effects. Have you heard of YOLO? Apparently it is the new excuse for any behaviour. You Only Live Once.

It's profound and childish all in one statement. We are only given one life to live. And the sad thing is--we live in this bubble of false freedom. We make excuses. We do what we want. We only live once.

The Bible talks a lot about freedom. I grew up in the church and I knew all the verses--I just never knew what they meant. In my post-college years I finally came to a place where I dealt with God. Our old pastor used to say that all the time and I loved it. We deal with God. When I finally dealt with God and He dealt with me it was like he was saying to won't be truly free until you surrender to me.

I don't know about you but to me surrender = not freedom. (I wanted to use the whole strike through the equal sign here but I couldn't find it so....not freedom it is!)

I was scared to surrender. People who surrender become POWs or casualties or just missing. Surrender is scary.

Ultimately though God taught me that he wanted to set me free from myself. He wanted me to be free from trying to please Him....trying to please others....using things like YOLO as an excuse....basically he wanted to give me the freedom to surrender to Him.

And I did. And suddenly I knew what true freedom really was. Because once I surrendered my life to Christ I was no longer a SLAVE to sin. I didn't even know I was so bound up in it. I didn't know what a hold it had on my life until I was free of it. Don't misunderstand. Surrendering your life to Christ does not equal being sin free. But it does mean that you are no longer in bondage to it. Christ paid the ultimate price on the cross for our freedom.

I love this translation of Galatians 3:22

If we could be saved by his laws, then God would not have had to give us a different way to get out of the grip of sin -- for the Scriptures insist we are all its prisoners. the only way out is through faith in Jesus Christ; the way of escape is open to all who believe Him.(Galatians 3:22, The Living Bible)

We are ALL in the grip of sin. And no matter what we do, whether it is following the law, pursuing our own interests or just trying to be good we are prisoners. We CAN NOT set ourselves free! The ONLY (very clear here) way out is through Christ and Christ alone. And isn't that a beautiful picture? The way of ESCAPE is open. Love this!!

I hope you get to watch fireworks this year.  I really will be watching them from my bedroom window.  Having little ones definitely takes away some of your FREEDOM doesn't it?  My prayer for these little guys and for you, readers, is that you would be reminded to surrender each time you see fireworks.

I am so very thankful for my FREEDOM!!

**special thanks to my dear husband who serves his country everyday so that I enjoy the freedom to post about freedom!!  I love you honey!


Debbie said...

Laura, reading your comments about our country makes me a little more proud of it! I love the 4th as well, but your heart puts it in a new light. Love you boys and your blog!

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