True Confessions: From Frustration to Freedom Part Two
There’s the story of a man with a heavy load on his back slowly trudging down the road. A neighbor in a wagon stops to ask, “Would you like a ride, my friend?” “Thank you. I’m so tired and this load is very heavy.” The old man climbs on to the back of the wagon with his load, and then calls to his friend. “I’m on. Let’s go.” The two men in the wagon continue on their journey. After a while, the driver looks back to say something to his friend and is shocked to see the old man sitting in the wagon with his heavy load still on his back. “I gave you a ride to relieve you of your burden. Why do you still have the load on your back?” “Oh, that’s okay. I appreciate the ride but it’s my load so I need to carry it myself.”
How foolish! According to the dictionary, foolishness is the result of “a lack of good sense or judgment.” Many of us foolishly live under our load of circumstances without knowing we have a choice between frustration and freedom. We cling to our guilt, worry, and confusion as if they are a part of our lot in life, rather than the product of a devious parasite, which sucks the vitality out of our well-intentioned lives, contributing nothing beneficial to its host.
Last week, in Part One, I left you with the question of how. As a young wife and mother, how was I to rise above the disappointments in my life? After eight years of marriage, at the invitation of a neighbor, I attended a women’s Bible study.
There I sat surrounded by other women in the home of the wife of a successful Atlanta businessman. Fortunately, no one noticed the load on my back. Perhaps that’s because I kept it hidden so well, even from myself. And then something dramatic began to unfold right before my eyes.
The first thing I noticed was the joy on the faces of the women. And they talked about Jesus Christ as if he were real to them on a daily basis, and not an hour on Sunday God. I heard the Bible taught as I’d never heard before. Perhaps, I came with different ears, but none the less, I was enthralled with what I heard.
As I listened, I began to believe it was possible for me to experience the same love, joy, and peace I saw in these women. The concept of a personal relationship with Christ took root in my heart, and I knew this was I wanted. And yet, to know Him was only the beginning. As God’s child, I could have full access to God’s resources, such as strength, courage, and power. Power to do what? To exchange my frustrations for the freedom to be the person I’d always wanted to be.
That day at the study, I heard a verse that reached out to me personally. “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him, and will dine with him, and he with me.” Revelations 3:20 NASB
No doubt about it! Jesus Christ knocked on the door of my heart that day, and I could hardly wait to respond. So, silently I prayed a prayer something like this. “Lord Jesus, I need you. I open the door and invite you to come into my life to be my Lord and Savior. Thank you for dying on the cross to pay the penalty for my sins. Make me the person you want me to be. Amen”
Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Why had I missed it after all those years of exposure to the church and to the Bible? Perhaps it was because becoming a Christian involves our intellect, emotion, and our will. For example, when I met my husband, I knew him intellectually. When we fell in love, we became involved emotionally. But, I wasn’t married to him until we stood before the minister and said, “I will.”
Intellectually, I had believed in Jesus Christ all my life. Emotionally, there were times I felt close to God. But I didn’t know Him personally until I committed my will to Him by inviting Him into my life to be my Savior and Lord.
That day, Jesus Christ became real and personal to me. I learned something about God’s love for me; if I were the only other person who ever lived, Christ would have died for me. You can’t get any more personal than that.
My life hasn’t been the same since that day. But I’ll save that story for next week. As a pre-requisite, I will tell you that in time I learned how to appropriate the power of God’s Holy Spirit to enable me to live my life according to the promises of His Word, rather than struggling under the weight of circumstances, emotions, and unmet expectations. Did I become perfect, with no problems or mistakes? Not by a very long shot!
Tune in next week for True Confessions: From Frustration to Freedom Part Three