At one point I looked up and both boys had their arms raised high in the air as they coasted. I just smiled!
I remember learning how to ride my bike with no hands. Ah! That feeling of true accomplishment. I felt bigger.. older somehow. How funny to see your kids doing something and it can instantly take you back to a time or place in your childhood.
Watching them ride with their arms high in the air I couldn’t help but see freedom in that moment. Complete surrender. Worship.
My time running is precious to me. It’s my appointment with Him. I prepare with joyful anticipation that we will meet along the road. Before I leave my home I ask Him to speak to me, to reveal something to me, to be in every footstep. He never disappoints even in the silent moments.
Frequently people, situations or scripture are brought to mind that move me to tears. It is quite challenging to get emotional while trying to run and breathe. I don’t believe I will ever get used to it.
This particular day was no exception. Seeing my boys practice doing something that most of us have practiced ourselves as children moved me because in seeing this simple expression, my mind began seeing so much more in the moment.
How often do we practice freedom?
I believe a lot of perspective could be gained by visiting those incarcerated. Yes, those that by the very nature of their address are not free could teach us a thing or two about freedom.
I see a lot in the media how we take our freedoms for granted and how we abuse our freedoms. The amount of freedom you have in prison is usually dictated to you by someone else – a warden, correctional officers, other inmates. And yet, when we go visit the women incarcerated I see women who do not take the bits of freedom they DO have for granted. They practice!
I encourage you to pray with an offender that has a relationship with God or one that is on the journey of trying to understand who God is in their life. Your heart will become so full; so many of them embrace Psalm 119:11 to a depth “free” people cannot comprehend. I have stored up your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.
Yep! They are paying time as a consequence of their sin BUT so many of them are PRACTICING freedom.
They practice by hiding the Word in their hearts so that they will be more than conquerors in the sin struggle we all fight against. They are reminded every day of the sin that has now brought them to the place they reside. They own a truth that has not become hindered or distracted by the extras – in order that we might not sin against HIM, we must store up HIS Word in our hearts.
In our time of Bible study with them their mouths truly overflow from a heart full of His Word, His Truth, His freedom for all us – even behind bars. One particular inmate usually has a new chapter (not verse, the whole chapter) memorized. The first time I met her she prayed Psalm 91 with me, this last time it was Ephesians 6.
For those of us outside the tall fences wrapped in barbed wired, we walk the streets freely, able to go and do as we please – but are WE practicing our freedom?
But the Scriptures declare that we are all prisoners of sin, so we receive God’s promise of freedom only by believing in Jesus Christ. Galatians 3:22 (NLT)