“Very truly, I tell you, when you were younger, you used to fasten your own belt and to go wherever you wished. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will fasten a belt around you and take you where you do not wish to go.” (Jn 21:18)
As some social restrictions due to COVID-19 have relaxed a little, it’s been fascinating to see people come out of the “lockdown woodwork” with a vengeance! This is a natural reaction to the forced confinement we’ve all tasted. It’s also an expression of the truth that God made us in His very image, as noble overseers of His creation, to live in freedom.
While we are enjoying some freedoms, we are a long way from clear of all the restrictions, and who knows if we ever will be like we once were?!…
The Bible says that “God has bound all in disobedience, so that He may have mercy upon all” (Ro 11:32); i.e. there is a bondage that all of us are under and must come to terms with, but that in doing so we discover true freedom!
We rankle against restriction both because is runs counter to the freedom for which God created and redeemed us, and because it reminds us of the disobedience from which God alone must redeem us, which He does liberally in grace for all who look to Him in faith and repentance. In this way, the restrictions placed upon us can actually become the instruments that lead us to know greater freedom in Christ. That’s why the Bible can even tell us to rejoice in our suffering! (Ro 51-5)
The Bible says that this freedom makes us completely new people, (2Cor 5:17), and gives us the gift of eternal life! (Jn 4:14). This is the kind of freedom that is bigger and stronger than any restriction or confinement, and can give us peace, hope and joy in the face of them.
Grace and cheers, Jonathan.