Have you ever tried to bury yourself in sand up to your neck? I have. When my sister and I were young, our elementary school had a sand hill that doubled as a sled hill in the winter. It was where we all went to get our clothes messed up before coming home.
One day, we thought it would be fun to see if we could dig a hole deep enough to bury ourselves. I, however, was the guinea pig for the project. Sure enough, we dug the hole and I jumped in. My sister buried me up to my neck; arms included.
From the moment she started to put the dirt over me, I was unable to move. Sure, I could breathe, but it was impossible to move. Unfortunately, as panic started to settle in from the claustrophobia, she thought it would be funny to act like she was going to leave and let me stay there that way!
It took a bit to get me out of that hole and I’ll never forget the feeling of being trapped, unable to move to get myself free. I wasn’t dead, but it sure felt like that could have been next. It was an experience I never want to repeat.
In much the same way, being bound by something has the same effect on us. Many people go throughout their lives with bondages; some small and some large. Another word for bondage would be an addiction or a dependency on something we can’t break.
It could be anything; over eating, sexual, alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, gossip, shopping, fear, hate, bitterness, pride, anger, cell phones, the Internet, and the list could go on and on with sub-categories. Often, we don’t even know we’re in bondage to something until it’s taken such a hold on us, that we can’t get out on our own.
Shame and self-condemnation are natural bi-products of a bondage. We feel the guilt for our weakness, and need, for that thing we know, inside our heart, is hurting us and those around us. Fear of other’s judgement and rejection keeps the bondage ropes even tighter as we bury that bondage even deeper.
We try to dig out of that hole at times. We may even ask for help and get out, but after a short period of time, we turn back to it as it had become security for us. We wind up back in that hole feeling even more alone than before.
One thing I’ve learned about these bondages, is that we are not alone. We may feel like it, but it’s far from the case. In fact, I would say that nearly everyone has a bondage of one kind or another. It may not be sexual or food, but it may be resentment, fear, or even hate.
The first step to getting past any bondage is to admit it’s there and to be willing to accept that we may not be able to break out of it ourselves. Books are written, and non-profits abound to help people dealing with them doing good. But, if the person in bondage isn’t willing to change, then it’s all for not.
There is one, I’ve found, who can help us become free and stay free. Who has the power to dig us out of that hole, clean us off, and give us strength to walk ahead in our lives. He can break the chains that hold us down and the take away the desire to go back when we do get free.
That one I’m speaking of is Jesus. I won’t quote a bunch of scriptures, even though there are many, but I will say that, if you’re struggling today, He is always willing to help you out. He is there to listen when we pray and wants to break off those chains that hold us down.
One day, maybe I’ll share more about how He has helped me be free from my chains, but for tonight, I just want to encourage you by saying, if you’re struggling with an addiction and can’t seem to break free, He is there. He can, and will, help you. There is no condemnation. No shame. Only unconditional love and freedom!
He came to set us all free. Free from the bondages that hold us all. There is hope at the end of that tunnel and a pathway out, lit by a loving Father who is there to walk us out of that bondage. We’re never alone. He’s with us always. We can be free and whole. It just takes us making the first step of giving it all to Him who loves us more than we can imagine…
Love always my friends,