What enslaves you? What keeps you from experiencing the freedom that God wants you to enjoy? For some, the binding chains are financial problems. Others are bound by family issues, failing health, aging, addictions, a difficult career, depression . . . the list could go on and on.
I have my own set of chains that hold me captive. One of those chains is missing my grandchildren that live so far from me. I am bound by the depression that sometimes descends upon me when I think of not being able to spend time with them. It is a chain that feels like isolation and loneliness.
Another binding chain holds me in the prison of chronic illness. End stage kidney failure has me literally bound with dialysis tubing for eight hours each day. The enslavement, though, is much more than tubes. It is learning to live with a constant illness that can easily rob me of quality of life. It is waiting for a donor kidney that may never come. This is a chain that sometimes feels like helplessness and hopelessness.
My prayer goes like this: “Release me, O God, that I may find freedom. Break the chains of loneliness and hopelessness that hold me captive. Set me free through your amazing grace.”
That prayer is so much more than words. It is literally the only way to break the chains that hold me captive. And it is the grace of our great Liberator that bursts those chains. I imagine myself rising from my knees and, with tears of gratitude, singing with all my heart, “my chains are gone, I’ve been set free!”
The Psalmist expresses this in Psalm 107:10-14 (NASB):
There were those who dwelt in darkness and in the shadow of death,
Prisoners in misery and chains,
Because they had rebelled against the words of God
And spurned the counsel of the Most High.
Therefore He humbled their heart with labor;
They stumbled and there was none to help.
Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble;
He saved them out of their distresses.
He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death
And broke their bonds apart.
Please spend a few minutes listening to “Amazing Grace” with “My Chains Are Gone” by Brigham Young University female ensemble, Noteworthy, at this link: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=X6Mtpk4jeVA