Natural, whatever that means, is in. People all around the world search daily for products and ways of doing things that are as clean and simple as possible. Being free of synthetic chemicals or genetically-manufactured ingredients, eliminating waste by recycling and switching to re-usable instead of disposable packaging are all growing trends on this planet that seems to shrink minute by minute.
We seek to be free from other things as well, things like pain and discipline and hard choices. Instead of sitting in the quiet of our mind, we sit with our eyes glued to electronic screens, streaming cat videos even as we wait in line at the supermarket. We long to be free from confrontation so that we embrace a live and let live way of doing things. We trade momentary comforts for the much longer-lasting future of our eternal home. Why don’t we humans realize that in seeking to be free from so many of these hard things, we also free ourselves of the many blessings available to us when we fully embrace God?
I have heard it said that hell is God’s way of giving non-believers just what they have asked for, an existence without Him. But, even we believers sometimes live as if there is no God without realizing all the implications of a world free from His ever-present love.
Without God, life’s challenges amplify. We have no knowledge of salvation to lean upon. A world without God, without a master Creator, has no grand plan, only a kind of chaos that can give and take without rhyme or reason, without purpose. The bad things that happen only teach us the pain of bad things. The good things of this earth are the limit of the good things we will ever know. We let our own minds define good and bad so that my definition of right ultimately ends up being someone else’s definition of great pain.
When we face the world on the world’s terms, we accept as okay behaviors and attitudes that break God’s heart. We allow the world to think there is nothing wrong with sexual immorality, making any relationship acceptable, negating the importance of marriage and faithfulness. We allow our words to be foul and hurtful and mean, even when we think we are doing right. Worse, we hold back words that need said in order to avoid offending a world that thinks it wants to be free from God.
But living always and in all ways in full knowing of God’s omnipotence offers a different kind of free from. The things we are free from when we fully embrace God are the most important things of all.
With God, all things are possible, which means that even when the worst things happen to us, God finds a way to bring something positive out of the bad. Maybe, we learn to slow down and appreciate the little things in each day that build into a peaceful life. When I find myself worrying about things that might happen, turning to God instead and putting my mind to thanking Him for the smell of honeysuckle in the air or the slick fur beneath my fingers of a kitty cat purring in my lap helps me feel centered and less stressed.
Believing in and following God also gives me freedom from judging, myself as well as the people around me. Only through a God-inspired lens do I tap into the ability to empathize and see life from multiple perspectives. I am free from a self-centered reality that only leads to loneliness and emptiness when I fill myself up with the kind of love Jesus demonstrated when He came to live among us.
Jesus tells us to come to Him because His yoke is light. Because His grace is a present for all who believe, we are released from the burden of always being perfect. Salvation under the law means that breaking even one of God’s rules puts you in breach of the entire contract. Salvation under grace means that as long as we recognize our stumbles and repent of them, we maintain our wonderful, personal relationship with our God. Being free from the burden of the law frees us to embrace living Christ day to day.
Be free from the fear of your future, free from the fear of losing out on forgiveness, free from the impossible expectations of a greedy world. Turn to your personal, omnipotent Creator. Love and live Jesus and be free from everything except the only things that matter.