This is what freedom looks like!

Perhaps a definition might help all of us as we seek to break the bonds of the boxes that bind us in bondage. Darkness is the absence of light and light is the absence of darkness. If darkness reigns in any area of our life—in some deep corner of that box—light has not yet penetrated it. And if light is shining into a box the darkness cannot overcome that light and must flee. This is simple truth—the kind of truth that liberates the prisoner from the cell.

Liberation begins with a settled understanding that what has transpired in our life—our failures, our wounds, the transgressions of others, abuse, or misuse—are things that have happened to us or were perpetrated on us, not who we are. They are not our identity. As such, they cannot determine what we become because they are not a part of the eternal inheritance God has given us through his grace…unless we refuse to give them to God.

That’s where the light and darkness issue arises. All of us are dragging baggage around. God has a deep, loving desire to take the baggage off our back and heal all of it, but he will not wrestle us for it. He will not force you to open your suitcase up or jump on your back, ride you to the ground, and rip that bulging knapsack off your shoulders.  But, if you will stop running from the past and crack open the latches, God will shine his light into those dark places. That light will point to those things you must release and give to him. Rest assured, he will never force his hand into that place and take something you are unwilling to release.

He may point to that box of abuse, or negative words, or loss, or failure, or sin, or abuse and say, “Give me that box—yes that one—and I will take it and heal the wound it has inflicted. I will give you liberty and release from it.” But you must put your hand inside your own soul and take hold of it. You must offer it up to God.

We are so afraid God will dump our bags out and hold up our most embarrassing memories or wounds and embarrass us before all creation. He won’t! Grace-filled restoration and healing guided by a loving heart is his motive. The fear you feel right now did not come from him.

Even as you read this, God is working. He is shining the brilliant light of his endless love onto your baggage. He is gently asking you to give him whatever has hurt, or wounded, or limited, or contained, or destroyed, or confined you. He wants you to give him all that has kept you from enjoying the endless delights of a shame-free, guilt-free, and condemnation free relationship with him. Why? Because he loves you!

Perhaps God has stopped you dead in your fleeing tracks at this very moment. You have a choice to make. Life is a journey and the journey is tough enough without dragging tons of unnecessary baggage around with you everywhere you go. Will you give up those boxes and receive the healing God so desperately wants you to walk it? Or will you run some more hoping somehow, someway you can eventually outrun the pain, the sorrow, and the loneliness?