From: Earth Psalms
Those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
They will walk and not faint.
A friend called from Hawaii and told me about an injured seagull she saw on the beach. The poor bird couldn’t walk at all but flutter-hopped in its quest for food. On closer examination, my friend saw that fishing line entangled the bird’s legs, hobbling it. She approached slowly, extending her hand in the hope she could remove the line and do something about the bird’s wounds. Frightened, the gull flew off, legs still hobbled and infected.
Sometimes we are like that poor seagull. We become entangled in bad habits or addictions, in destructive relationships or all manner of fears. We peck away at our daily tasks, trying to forget the pain. All the while the infection of sin is growing and going deeper until it threatens to destroy us.
The seagull flew away from my friend, who wanted to untangle the fishing line and wash the wounds. We too often turn away from those who want to help us – and even from God, who is the only One who really can get rid of our sin. Sometimes we turn away out of fear, other times out of shame. More often, we turn our backs because of our pride. We don’t want others to see us at our ugly worst, so we limp along, pretending we’re just fine.
The pain of removing what holds us captive can be frightening. Yet if we lay aside all those things that encumber our walk with God, if we trip off the sin that slows us down, as Hebrews 12:1 says, then we find the freedom and healing that come from being reconciled to God. We no longer have to hobble about in isolation, like the injured seagull, but we can live in communion with God the way we were created to. When we trust fully in God to help us and refuse to let our pride turn us away from his forgiveness, then he will renew our strength, giving us joy and energy for the tasks ahead. We will run and not grow weary; we will soar high on wings like eagles.
To confess your sins to God is not to tell God anything God doesn’t already know. Until you confess them, however, they are the abyss between you. When you confess them, they become the Gold Gate Bridge. (Frederick Buechner)
How do you react when you’re struggling and someone tries to help you? When you’re tangled up in sin, how do you respond to God? Why do you think we often turn away from him? How do we benefit by letting God and others help us?
Take a moment to think about what sins, bad habits, or poor choices might be entangling you and keeping you from living with freedom. What could you do this week to throw those off?
CONNECT WITH GOD
Lord Jesus, so often I let myself become constrained by sin. It trips me up, distracts me, and keeps me from living well. May I never turn away from you when I’m stuck in sin; instead, may I turn to you in humility and trust you to save me. Thank you for reaching out to heal me.