Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Hurry! This way in...

On Monday, my third grade class learned about Harriet Tubman. We spoke of how similar she was to Moses who freed the slaves from Egypt. Perhaps at their age the concept of enslavement really doesn't sink in. As eight-year-olds, most aren't aware of how crushing to the spirit slavery was. All they kept saying was "That's not fair," and "Why are people so mean?"

I wish we can shelter kids from the harsh realities of life. Most parents do, by telling little white lies because frankly, younger kids might not understand the truth. I wonder if God forgives us for lying to protect our kids from a broken heart. This world is ready to shatter it into pieces.

Then again, children are so full of wisdom. My daughter Liani always surprises me with some heart-felt words when I am most down. I go through moments where I need a good cry and she senses my pain and does her best to rub it out from me. It's this knowing, this sense that children have that makes me wonder, are we protecting them with those lies, or are we protecting ourselves?

Jesus said that we must become like children to enter the kingdom of heaven (Mat. 18:3). That is probably the hardest thing to do as an adult. By the time we are of a certain age we know too much, we've experienced too much, we've been loved or hurt too much. We've been through a lifetime and to bring ourselves back to vulnerability is unfathomable. How does one let go of the feelings of "that will never happen to me again," or "no one is ever going to hurt me that way anymore," etc. Your experiences become like extra strands of DNA. They become such a part of you and as much as you'd like to let go of the bad times, they've already become your past.

We become slaves to our experiences.

Sometimes we refer to them because they are all we know. We rely on them to tell our story. They contain a certainty of something valid and real in this mysterious life of ours, and so it becomes comfortable to know we went through something, good or bad. It proves that we are alive somehow.

When the Hebrew slaves saw that their food was scarce they began to panic. They remembered how comfortable their enslavement was. They would rather go back, then suffer from starvation. But their spirits were starving back in Egypt. Their souls were withering away. The revival they needed couldn't be fixed with food. The Hebrews needed more than grain. They needed saving. They needed a Savior.

Don't we need a Savior too? I know at one very low point in my life, it would've been great to know that I could count on somebody to lift me up and carry me to safety. The Hebrews had Moses. He came with his simple wooden staff and with the Lord that simple staff became a miracle worker. Harriet Tubman came back for the slaves. She could have stayed put in her freedom, but she refused to be free while her own parents and brothers continued to be other people's property. Both Moses and Harriet led the way to freedom, the Lord providing all they needed to accomplish this heavy task.

Are you enslaved in your past? Do all those old wounds still hurt you? Are you still angry, sad, holding on to memories that are robbing you of your spirit? Do you feel that you are withering away?

Well we have someone better than Harriet Tubman, better than Moses who wants to save you. He stepped up for the job over two thousand years ago, when they nailed Him to the cross. He rose again to show us a new life. We can leave those past lives behind. We can be born again and walk to freedom like little children. In the darkness, there is a faint light that we can faithfully follow, the light becoming larger and larger as we walk closer and closer towards it. We walk trusting we'll see a hand reach out, softly saying to us,

Hurry! This way in..."

Because Jesus is ready to take us to His kingdom. He's willing to help us remove the chains of our sins, of our hurting, of our anger, our sadness. He's ready to give us new life, better than food. But we have to trust Him like children. When He extends His hand, like children, we have to grab it tightly, knowing that our Savior will lead the way.

I'm in Your hands, Jesus. Lead me to safety. Lead me to your kingdom.

God bless!

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