• Stefan Youngblood

Free Willy…and Me

This past spring I took a short trip to Atlanta to visit the Aquarium. I wanted to see the huge game-fish on “display.” Ever since meeting Terry Maas, the world champion spear-fisherman who landed a 400 pound tuna, I’ve always had the dream of catching a large tuna while spearfishing. But given the fact I’ve never been out far enough or deep enough, I’ll just have to settle for other spear-fisherman stories, and watching them swim back and forth at the aquarium. This kinda stinks though, because these massive creatures were created to swim up to 55 mph in the open water, not back and forth in a huge water tank.

Christian author, John Eldredge, writes of a huge African lion that was on display at the Denver zoo.

Eldredge lived close to the zoo and on summer nights could hear the mighty beast roar. As impressive as it sounded, Eldredge felt he could detect a touch of sadness in the roar. You see, God didn’t create the tuna or lions to live behind bars and be gawked at by passers-by. The “King of Beasts” was meant to rule the African plains. 

So many of us are often like that lion. We can find ourselves held by the heavy burden of sin, guilt, shame, and regret, and though our prison’s not one with bars, it is, nevertheless, just as confining. Our souls cry out for release, or we may try to find it in the things of the world. At times we may seek to gain freedom through money, materialistic goals, sex, impressive titles and more. But in the end, like the lion, we roar in our frustration.

God didn’t intend for us to live in a self-created prison. He wants us to soar. It’s His wish for our souls to be free. Free to love, free to worship, and free to live our lives in this temporary home as He intended us. God’s Son accomplished what we couldn’t. By allowing himself to be imprisoned, tortured, and put to death, He offered himself as a living sacrifice. By stepping from the grave, He gained victory over the sting of Death and offered the same opportunity to us.

Whether yours is a glass tank, or steel bars, a personal struggle or a public failure, you were created for more. He who the Son sets free is free indeed. Don’t settle for less my friend. Pray that all those who are buried under a heavy burden of sin will seek the sweet freedom salvation provides.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

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