Thursday, January 26, 2012

In Sweet Remember Bitter

The beach was abuzz with bronzed boys kicking soccer balls, elderly couples tooling along on their bicycles, and kite-flyers hanging on with gusto. As we, ahem, middle-aged vacationers “buzzed” along on our bicycles enjoying the slow, but powerful sound of crashing waves, the deep blue hue of the ocean matching the glorious expanse overhead, and the seashells crunching under our tires, I began praising God for our breath-taking experience and simultaneously I thought of those who are trapped in slavery; those who are in an entirely different setting enduring darkness and confinement.

I found inside my heart even deeper gratitude for my freedom to enjoy such magnificent beauty, and at the very same time a burden so heavy, I was near tears.

How can I give thanks without spending some part of me to help rescue those who cannot enjoy this liberty?

                                        Isaiah 61:1-4
                                The Spirit of God, the Master, is on me
                                because God anointed me.
                                He sent me to preach good news to the poor,
                                heal the heartbroken,
                                Announce freedom to all captives,
                                pardon all prisoners.
                                God sent me to announce the year of his grace—
                                a celebration of God’s destruction of our enemies—
                                and to comfort all who mourn,
                                To care for the needs of all who mourn in Zion,
                                give them bouquets of roses instead of ashes,
                                Messages of joy instead of news of doom,
                                a praising heart instead of a languid spirit.
                                Rename them “Oaks of Righteousness”
                                planted by God to display his glory.
                                They’ll rebuild the old ruins,
                                raise a new city out of the wreckage.
                                They’ll start over on the ruined cities,
                                take the rubble left behind and make it new.

Interestingly when we returned home, we put in a movie we knew nothing about called “I am David” which was about a little boy in a concentration camp who had been separated from his family and endured the pains of evil men oppressing men. Someone helped David escape. The movie walks with him through his journey into freedom, and the same contrast I experienced on the beach a few days ago was on the screen before my eyes. I won’t give away any more of the movie. I highly recommend seeing it, but I will tell you it brought me to tears because of experiencing the emotions of the character.

I am glad that there are many things we can do to rescue those trapped in bondage. We can pray that the Lord will continue to anoint us to preach the good news of liberty for the captives and that He will empower and equip those who He has called to the mission field and rescue missions such as IJM and World Vision. We can also go where He tells us, and give what He asks us to give of our time, money and energy.

What is your part? Have you asked Him?

Father in Heaven, THANK YOU for liberty in Jesus from bondage to darkness in our souls, and thank you for liberty in our country to enjoy such delights as a ride on an ocean beach. May we not take it for granted and please enable us to spend what we have to help others be free in Jesus’ Name!

No comments: