So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:36 (NIV)
The dark cloud called gloom seemed to be following her around. It was hung so close to the top of her head that if she reached her arm up her hand would pierce the cold damp feeling that she carried in her heart. It had been there for weeks. And she was unable to shake it.
It started a while ago. Life was good. She was involved in a new church plant and God was moving. Her relationship with him had taken off. As she looked for him, he spoke. The entire church was having this fantastic God experience and they were growing. There was unity among the members and God was truly moving.
But then, temptation came knocking. Not just at her door but, this is her story not theirs. Temptation knocked and she threw open the door and invited him in. Somewhere, somehow, she lost sight of the special bond she was growing with God and decided that this….this would be more fulfilling than what God wanted.
And then, the Elders came knocking. She wasn't so happy to throw those doors open and after the conversation was finished, she was devastated. Not so much because they asked her to step down from serving but because this wake-up call made her realize she’d turned her back on her friend.
In the weeks that followed, the only prayer that she could utter was "Help me." She felt lost and ashamed. She had turned her back on God and had chosen a path that would temporarily make her feel better. What a hard way to learn that making oneself feel better with temporary pleasures is a fleeting experience. When the dust settled, she couldn't hear God's voice and the relationship seemed to be gone.
With a broken heart she moved through the motions of life always asking "Are you there? I'm sorry. Please help me." Weeks went by. As she waited she realized that she had risked the best thing in her life. The closeness she felt with God over those months was like no other experience and she could not bear to lose it.
One day, as she was driving home from work she looked out the window and said it again "Please help me." For the first time in weeks a Bible verse popped into her head "If the Son has set you free, you are free indeed." As she processed this, she remembered. She remembered that Jesus’ gift to her, to everyone, when he died on the cross was forgiveness. That sin and death didn't hold her. They couldn't hold her if she claimed that gift and clung to its truth. The truth was that she was forgiven and with time she would be able to hear God's voice again. She would be able to seek him, mend the relationship and mend her heart.
Jesus died so we wouldn't be “dead men walking” but a people walking, skipping, dancing and laughing. He died so that when we mess up (and we always will) we can know that he is still there. He loved us then and he loves us still.
We are free......indeed!