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The Cost of Freedom

The Cost of Freedom

So Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to its normal course when the morning appeared. And as the Egyptians fled into it, the LORD threw the Egyptians into the midst of the sea. Exodus 14:27

My life story is simple. Following my way once led me to a drug addiction where I found chaos, misery, and pain. Conversely, in following God, I’ve found a new life of recovery, joy, and peace. I still have my struggles and I certainly don’t follow God perfectly, but I’m no longer enslaved to drugs. I’ve found freedom, and so, I want others to experience this freedom as well. This isn’t just about drugs of course. As a Christian, I believe that following God is the path to a new life of joy and peace for everyone. If this new life is so great though, I’ve got to ask myself why more people don’t embrace it? In fact, if recovery is so wonderful, I’ve got to ask why I didn’t seek it sooner? Why did I wade through 15 years of self-destruction before turning to the new life?

Today’s passage helps me understand the answer. In the story, God’s people despaired as they found themselves trapped between the Egyptian army and the Red Sea. God had a plan though, miraculously parting the Red Sea so the Israelites could cross on dry ground. When the Egyptian army pursued, God collapsed the sea, drowning the Egyptians. God turned certain disaster into blessed victory as he set his people free from Egyptian slavery.

As Christians, we believe this is what God does. He sets us free from the misery of our old life. Why then don’t more people experience this freedom? Why didn’t I seek it sooner? It’s not because I didn’t want to be free. I did. I simply didn’t want to go through what it took to get there. For the Israelites to experience the miraculous crossing of the Red Sea, they first had to follow God to its shores where they found themselves trapped by the Egyptian army. To follow God to freedom, they had practice faith, engaging in sacrificial obedience, which put them in a very uncomfortable situation. In their discomfort, they longed to return to Egyptian slavery. This is why I didn’t find recovery sooner – because I was pathologically attached to the old life and even though I wanted the new life, I wasn’t willing to go through what it took to get there.

God offers new life to all of us. Getting there though, requires that we abandon the old life, which means practicing faith and sacrificial obedience. For many of us, this is too much and so, we remain stuck in the old life. If we want it, freedom, joy, and peace are waiting. We however, must be willing to go through what it takes to get there.

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