This picture sums up better than I’ve ever been able to with words, how God’s word, His law, and His expectations are lovingly freeing to those obedient to Him.
God doesn’t desire to put us in a boring box. He yearns to be near us. To protect us. And even those that fully understand this start to feel trapped at times. “I can’t do this, I can’t do that. Why is God smothering me and keeping me from fun?” It doesn’t happen overnight. But eventually, it makes sense to us that we need to get out of that cage.
Look back at that picture again. This is more like God’s point of view. He will allow people to come and go… but He really, really wants you to stay. He loves you, wants to keep you safe, and knows that predators literally hide above, below, and on all sides of your life. The enemy is ruthless, cunning, and knows how to work through friends, family, loved ones, businesses, and even strangers on the road.
What is life like inside of the cage? It’s wonderful. I’m safe. I’m loved. I’m accepted. I gave up bad habits that were only holding me back. Now I can go farther. Did you catch that? I have MORE freedom in God’s embrace. He is with me wherever I go. Like children learning to walk, we aim to get further away from the parents that want to keep us on the ground. Do they hate us? No, but they don’t want us to fall either. They construct cages and barriers of all kinds for our safety. If it were up to us, we’d wander into traffic out of sheer curiosity.
Sadly, we never grow out of this reflex. To test our limits and see how far, high, and fast we can go is seemingly born within us. Helmets weren’t invented before the first fall. They were thought up after incident after incident. Eventually someone thought, there has to be a better way. Wear this! It will protect you. God’s love and protection is little different. It’s not just in case… It’s to save eternal lives.
Consider what Jesus has done for you. What lengths He went through to save you. Measure that against His wisdom. It really is freeing to forgive others. It truly is satisfying to not judge others. Telling the truth? Why, its the healthiest thing I’ve ever done. I don’t have to bother with alibi’s, details I may have forgotten, or cross checking stories with others. I’m hoping the next time I’m tempted to wander outside of the cage, I remember how wonderful it really is inside. That Satan wants us out and he will tell any lie he can to get us out from under God’s shield.
And if I can’t remember that, I hope this picture helps. It’s a reminder of how ridiculous the thought is of trying to leave in the first place. And for what? So I can gossip a bit more? Or to make sure my politics are heard? Or I just don’t feel like anyone in here gets who I am? lies, lies, lies. This picture tells the truth of what is outside. I hope you can see it too.