Cruising Route 66
“Released Not Restricted”
“I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be My people. I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt so that you would no longer be slaves to the Egyptians; I broke the bars of your yoke and enabled you to walk with heads held high.”
Welcome to Ben’s Quill!
I heard of a father who built his son a playhouse in the backyard. With the framing part done, and although there were no walls, he wanted to surprise him, so he took his son outside and stood proudly before the wooden structure. The little guy stood silently, then went in and after several minutes looking it over, came out with a sad frown on his face. Before his father could ask what was wrong, the boy looked up with a tear in his eye and said, “Daddy, is that my cage when I’m bad?”
I can’t speak for you, but me, I’d scoop up that little dude in my arms and explain that it’s a gift to enjoy, and I’d assure him of my love for him? It seems like some folks see the circumstances of their lives as a divinely constructed cage, incarcerating them because they’ve been bad. Their Heavenly Father is a celestial disciplinarian, who is eternally mad at them for their failures, faults, and flaws. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Like that little boy, sometimes we fail to see the heart and intent of God’s involvement in our lives. It’s easy to see how a child might miss the blessing, but how do mature adults miss the freedom and joy God has for them?
Maybe we know ourselves too well, our weaknesses, vulnerabilities, and offenses. As a result, we struggle with the concept of a God who knows us better then we know ourselves, loving us the way He does. How we feel about God is often filtered through our experiences, parental influence, peer pressure, and our immediate circumstances. When we fail to live up to an unrealistic standard, we miss God’s grace and expect the worst like the little boy getting a cage instead of a playhouse.
The open road along Route 66 is designed to set you free, to “hit the road” on new adventures, exploring the world God created for you and to do it with Him. God’s desire is to walk among you, to be your God, and for you to be His people. In Leviticus 26, God had to remind His people that He had brought them out of bondage and set them free, and He’s still in the releasing and setting free business today.
In order for God’s people to be free and prosper, they had to spend some time in the wilderness. Maybe that’s why He had to remind them that He was with them and that He was releasing them, not restricting them. If you find yourself in a wilderness, it’s not because God doesn’t love you; it’s because He does! He loves you enough to take you through what will ultimately lead you to the better plan and season He has for you.
See ya next week.