31 October, 2017

The Only Way to Freedom

Many years ago I read a story in a newspaper in which told of a prisoner in Australia who was in the county jail awaiting to be transferred to the State Prison. He was facing a lengthy sentence and knew that if he was going to escape, he had to do it from the county jail. He began to plan a daring escape. The day came when he executed his plan flawlessly by crawling under a delivery truck parked at the prison receiving dock. He clung to the bottom of the truck and rode it out of the front gates of the prison. He held on for dear life to the bottom of that truck as it drove down a major highway for about 20 minutes or so. Finally, the truck began to slow down and when it came to a complete stop, the man quickly let go of his grip and dropped to the ground. As fast as he could he rolled out from under that truck to freedom.  As he stood up he was stunned to find that he was inside the walls of the state prison, five miles from the county jail from where he had come from.  

You know, a lot of times it really seems that life is like that, doesn’t it?  Life boxes us in and we get to a point where we feel imprisoned by our fears or anxieties… our guilt and shame. These pressures seem to wall us in emotionally and spiritually, and we begin to desperately search for a way out. We try one thing after another, trying to escape, only to discover that we're just moving from one prison to another, one anxiety to another. We might try friends or relationships. Some might try drinking or drugs or even risky behavior, trying to find a release from the pressure we are under and the wall that is closing in on us. And with each “escape attempt” that fails, those walls get even tighter, higher and thicker and there just seems to be no way out. The reality is, there is no way out… except for Jesus. It does not matter what else you try, or how many times you try it, eventually it is going to lead to the same dark, cold and lonely place. The sooner we learn this and we give up our folly, the sooner we will find the only real purpose and fulfillment that there is to find I this life. Yes, those things work for a season, but the end result is always the same. We’re just riding from prison to prison, thinking we are free, but when we stop and look around and discover that all we’ve done is exchange one prison for another. Only Jesus can set us free. And he whom the Son sets free is free indeed. 

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