In Acts 5, the apostles are arrested, put into jail and then set free by an angel who comes and opens the doors for them. They are arrested because they are in the temple preaching about Jesus. When the angel comes and frees them, where do they go? They don’t go into hiding, like I would do. They go back out to the most public place to begin preaching again. They are set free from their “bondage” and instead of going to a safe place, they go back into the place that will most likely get them caught again.
When they were miraculously set at liberty it was that they might go on with their work with so much more boldness. Recoveries from sickness, releases out of trouble are granted us not that we may enjoy the comforts of life, but that God may be honored with the services of our life. ~ M. Henry
Last year at this time I was in counseling for deep set fear and anxiety. I was almost at the point where I wouldn’t take a shower for fear of what might happen while I was in the shower and there were days where I wouldn’t drive my car anywhere for fear that something was wrong with it. I had lost control, but was struggling deeply with the fear of losing control. I was in deep bondage and I might as well have been in prison. I know that God has done a miraculous work in my heart in the past year. He has truly set me free from the prison I was in. But reading this passage this morning was a reminder that although He has set me free, He didn’t do it so that I would be comfortable.
My releasing from the bondage of fear – from the bondage of control & anxiety – were not so that I might live an easier life. Has my life been “easier” since last December? Sure. I can drive my car now with freedom. I can take a shower with freedom. When the fear and anxiety begin to creep up on me, I know what I need to do to counter that. But this passage was a wake up call to be doing more with this message; this healing that the Lord has done in me. I need to be like the apostles and share myself with others and share my story with others. There are a million places where I am still “in hiding” because of fear. I don’t want to go back out into the most public place and share myself with others. There are times I don’t want to share myself with my family! But the Lord is calling me to move deeper and out of my comfort. He did not begin this healing in me so that I could just float through my days without any sense of anxiety anymore.
I know the places that God is calling me to step out and trust Him. I know the places where He is calling me to walk right back into vulnerability. Because of what He has done in my life in the past year, I should walk back into those places with greater boldness knowing from where He has brought me. Just like the apostles.