I open my eyes and allow them to adjust to the darkness around me. I hear the sounds of nothingness in my ears. My hands feel the coldness of the floors I call my bed. I’ve been here for several years now. This 10 x 12 space has become my home. I have just enough room to move around but not enough to really feel comfortable. My crime? Well that’s not really important. What’s important is that I’ve been sentenced to serve this time. How much time? Well that really depends on me.
Everyday men, women and sometimes children are sentenced to serve time behind bars. Their crimes range in severity as do the time they are ordered to serve. These individuals are sentenced to a physical imprisonment placed on them by the justice system but what about people who imprison themselves because they can’t let go of the past? I’m sure we’ve all seen them. They are walking around just like we are going about their business day after day. Nothing really seems out of place until you sit down and have a conversation with them. Most of the topics consist of situations that have happened to them in the past. They still get angry, disappointed, hurt when they think about how someone did them wrong. The feelings are so strong one would think these are fresh wounds instead of old scars.
I’ve been one of those people. Constantly picking at a wound that God was trying to heal simply because it was familiar to me; something I could depend on. I kept myself imprisoned by holding onto hurts, slights and disappointments because I felt justified not realizing that each day I was adding bars to my cell and days onto my sentence. And to be honest there are days I visit my old cell. I’ll be sitting thinking about my life and the next thing I know I’m replaying situations that happened to me when I was in my early twenties and those old feelings start to come up again. That’s when I start reminding myself that as long as I stay locked up in that prison Satan is happy and the last thing I want to do is make him happy. See as long as we focus on the past we can’t move through to our future. It’s like we are wearing blocks of cement. We become stuck right where we are.
Jesus did not die for our sins and free us from eternal death to watch us imprison ourselves again. John 10:10 says “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly (NKJV)” So let’s break out of the mental prison we place ourselves in and live as free children of God.