I have had an very interested past 24 hours that made me reflect on a passage and thought that I will be sharing with our students on Wednesday. I am traveling to a conference at Mars Hill Bible Church in Grand Rapids, MI which I am extremely excited about, maybe even too excited. On my way to Michigan yesterday I ran into quite a bit of trouble. My first flight was delayed, then delayed again, then delayed, then once we boarded the it was delayed once again. Once I finally made it to Chicago where I need to change flights to get to Grand Rapids, I literally ran up to my gate as they were closing the door and despite my pleading was unable to board that flight with two of my friends. Then the next flight that night was canceled and the first flight I could get on was not until midday of the next day. After finding a hotel, I slept for a few hours and arrived at the airport around 5:15 am to try to get onto earlier flights via standby. As of now at 10:50 am I am still sitting in the airport and waiting.

How annoying right. Well throughout all of this I witnessed the best and worst of people. Many flights were canceled or severely delayed yesterday and as you can imagine many people were very emotional, mostly with a negative bent, as their plans were changed without their approval. The more I watched and reflected, trying not to fall asleep, the more it was a great example that so many things in life are completely out of our control. What is in our control is how we handle, respond to, and approach the situations life throws at us. Read the words of Galatians 5:1-4.

Galatians 5:1-4; 1 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. 2 Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all. 3 Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law. 4 You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.

How beautiful is it that when Jesus calls us into a relationship He calls us to a life of freedom? We are through Jesus free to approach and live in this world at peace with others, with kindness, gentleness, self-control, etc. As I have gone through these past 24 hours I have seen what it means to be bound and be free. As things were happening around me and out of my control, it was frustrating, but because of Jesus I can handle it with self-control, gentleness, and respect for other people. I witnessed adult after adult act like my 2 year old when he is throwing a fit because he doesn’t get what he wants. I witness bondage (stress, anger, rage, malice, bitterness, and pride) and while I did get frustrated at times and I did plead with some of the airline employees to have compassion. I am sitting here getting close to the end of this long, terrible day able to smile, able to laugh, able to help others who are stuck in the same situation as I am. I am free because Jesus Christ has set me free. I can live and move in this world as a free man, at peace with others and my circumstances. Maybe you have never experienced this freedom, maybe you do not know you are free, maybe you do but have gotten so frustrated that you have burdened yourself again with a yoke of slavery (that you can do it right and do not need God).

Today may you accept and live in the freedom that Jesus offers, may you be at peace with the world you live in. It is real, it is true. There wasn’t anything I did right because I am good. Jesus simply set me free to not be burdened by those things, to focus on the things in my control not the things out of my control. How will you respond to your circumstances today? Live free, experience the freedom.

  1. Anonymous
    January 22, 2007 at 11:16 pm

    I have a couple of responses. First off, I was thinking about control the other day too. How the weather just stopped us all dead in our tracks and we lost all control of what was going on in our lives. We start to think that we have things under control, we get comfortable, self-sufficient, we forget to give thanks and so on. Example, we think that we are provided for because of the hard work and time we put in at our jobs. But really, we need to remember that any of that can be taken away or pulled out of our control (even thought it never really was in our control) at any time. Helps me to put things in perspective and remember how sovereign our God. It is a great load off my shoulders.
    Second, about the airport. It is times like the these(being stranded at an airport), when we can truly examine ourselves. It is interesting how we sometimes forget or don’t even think about the fact that the people at the airport, restaurant, or the clerks in the long line, are people too. We as christians, need to show them the same love and respect we would show someone that we were intentionally discipling. Just my thoughts as I read this. I have seen some airport staff being treated pretty badly due to delays and such.

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