The first picture that I have been thinking about for a while is circus folk ‘break’ a baby elephant by chaining it too a tree. The elephant is only a baby, so it can’t pull the tree down, the elephant remembers the powerlessness of being chained to a tree it can’t pull down, and as they grow they stay tethered to the tree by a chain, even though by the time the elephant is full grown they could easily uproot the tree and be free.
The animals captivity is not actually physical but psychological, the thing that hold him back isn’t really an inescapable obstacle but rather their own mind and memories.
What of us?
Are the things we think are holding us back actually holding us back, or is it mind-set, past experience and perception?
Perhaps, like the elephant, you have tried to be free before and now have just given up trying?
Jesus talks about setting people free.
The Gospel is a message of liberation, setting people free.
Paul talks in Romans about “being transformed by the renewing of your mind” -in Salvation our view of the world changes, we see things differently, we ourselves differently, we our situations differently.
Danielle Strickland talked about re-visiting the prison and our places of captivity but this time, re-visiting them with God.
It enabling the elephant to see that that which bound him before, no longer has the power to control him.
His fears we based on lies and illusions.
His memories of the past were inhibiting the freedom he was experiencing in the present.
Are there things from our past, that makes us feel like we are a baby elephant tethered to a tree unable to pull free?
Revisit them, and realise that maybe the tree that tethered us, isn’t insurmountable but with Christ can be overcome.
“If the Son sets you free, you shall be free indeed!”
For freedom to take root and flourish in our lives, we need to let it liberate our hearts, transform our minds and restore our eyes in how we look at the world.
How you were, how you have been, in Christ is not how you have to stay, nor is it how you will be forever.
That’s a message a world desperately needs to hear.