Jodie
It's pretty rare for me to cry in public. Off the top of my head, I can only think of two times in the past couple of years when I've pure ol' let the waterworks turn on in front of other people. Both of those times involved the song "Amazing Grace." (That one and "Butterfly Kisses" get me every time.) Yesterday, God got me good.

God's delivered me from several huge things in my life. Debilitating fear was one of them. Anger was another. Last week, I realized I had another thing gripping me. It's been there over half of my life, and I never recognized it. Very long story short, God delivered me. (Boy, that all sounds so easy, doesn't it?) He delivered me from something that kept me shackled to my past and to things I had been trying desperately to let go of. Freedom has never felt as phenomenal as this. There have been moments in the past week when I have literally jumped up my hallway because there was no other way to say thank you. Lots of exuberance in my house. I'm sure the downstairs neighbors are loving it.

And as if that was not enough, He suddenly opened the windows of heaven and poured out on me. For someone who has been walking through the desert for a very long time, the deluge has been overwhelming. It's raining, folks. It's raining, and what a cleansing, blessed rain it is.

Yesterday, I was in a room full of beautiful ladies at PWOC (Protestant Women of the Chapel, an awesome international organization for Christian women affiliated with the military). A wonderful sister got up and spoke about coming out of the darkest three years of her life. She didn't go into detail, didn't put the focus on the black night... She spoke of the joy that has followed. Of the dancing that has been going on in her house. Of how her husband has had just about enough of hearing Mandisa's "Shackles" over and over and over and over again. And then she played it. Ah, yes. It's a song I know well. I cut my praising God out loud teeth on the Mary Mary version a few years ago when God wiped away my fear.

But it has never, ever smacked me in the head like it did yesterday. Here I was in a room of women, and all I wanted to do was fall on my face on the floor and weep. Not cry... weep. (Some of you know why that's different.) I felt my God from my head to my feet, to the point I couldn't even raise a hand up to Him. Free. Oh my word, do we really grasp what it means to be free? To be free from the power of sin and death and hell? To be free from the past? To be free from the things that have gripped us and nearly choked the life out of us? To be free from the obstacles between us and God so that we can stand before Him? Free to love Him fully. Free to be fully loved by Him. I had no idea until that moment how tied up I had been and how free He had made me.

How many of us can say through the ages that by the power of Almighty God and the blood of Jesus Christ we've "been through the fire and the rain, bound in every kind of way. God has broken every chain, so let me go right now!"

Never forget... He is the God of freedom. Now go dance before the God who set you free!

JB
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