Aspen just found the halter we tried to use on our cat last year when we drove across the USA. My sister and I fought our tiny little cat tooth and nail to get it on her and then before we knew it she had slipped out of it better than Houdini could have done himself. We put it on her several times, adjusting the tightness so she wouldn’t be able to slip out, but she always managed to squirm her way out of the halter. We wanted our cat to wear the halter so that we could put her on a leash and let her wander a little instead of having to stay in the car all the time. Our cat didn’t know it but the halter represented freedom to her, instead she saw it as something she wanted to escape from. Boy, aren’t you glad we humans are like cats?
In case my wandering wit missed it’s mark (which it often does) what I was thinking is how so much like my cat we humans can be! The halter has a reputation of restrainment, not freedom, so that’s how my cat interprets the wearing of it: something to keep her from doing whatever she wants so therefore it’s something to escape from. God’s law can be very much like that halter for us. Laws have the reputation of barriers that bar us from doing things, so God’s law we interpret as primarily a list of things not to do. But really, it’s the opposite. Which brings me to something else I thought of today.
Today was the 4th of July. The day Americans celebrate freedom. We spent the afternoon in Gettysburg with friends viewing the battlefield and wandering through historic downtown and the cemetery. So many men died in the fight for the freedom we enjoy in the United States. In the fight for the freedom of your soul only the death of Jesus could set you free. He died. You’re free!
Jesus died to free us from the chains that sin wrap around us and enslave us. There is no power in Heaven or earth that can put those chains back on us except the power of our own free will. So God gave us His laws, based on love, to protect us from the slavery of sin He died to set us free from. His laws are not a barricade to fun and the good life, they are guard rails that keep us on the road of freedom. So on this day when we think about and give thanks for our freedom, and to all who died to protect it for us, remember the One who gave Himself to protect and ensure that you would have the power of free choice God created you with.
“So if the Son sets you free, you are free indeed.” John 8:37