Thursday, January 22, 2015

Freedom and Grace

Scripture Texts: Genesis 16; Genesis 21:8-21; Galatians 4:21-31

There are times when we think God needs a little help from us humans. The times when the timing of God does not fit our timetable, or when God solves our problems in ways different than we wanted them solved. In our humanness we take charge and fulfill what God promised using our own ability.

Abram and Sarai were promised by God they would have children but it was not happening so they devised another plan. From the moment Abram and Sarai's plan was put into effect struggle and strife followed. Hagar and Ishmael, the human attempt to solve the problem of no children become more of a challenge.

Paul reminds the Galatian church what happens when we choose a human solution rather than trust the promise of God. The result is being enslaved to human built law rather than living free though grace. Whenever humans try to deliver on God's promise ahead of God the result is captivity of themselves or others. When we wait on God's timing and action we find grace and freedom.

In our marriage we have clearly felt the call and promise of God in big things and small things. It would be great to share that we have always waited for God's timing to fulfill the promise. That is not the case. There have been times when we have run ahead and given God a little help accomplishing the promise. The result was a time when we were trapped in a situation or to a commitment for longer than we needed to be.

It is not just with God that we try to force the agenda, this can happen with our partner as well. In marriage we cannot force our partner to do things according to our plan. Sure we can manipulate or deceive but when we do that we are creating captivity, anger and more strife. Increased conversation and trust of the other person usually ends in greater fulfillment and freedom in a marriage. It seems better to be in a marriage because you desire to be married to the other person, rather than to feel trapped, like you have to be married. More simply said it is the difference of getting to be married to the other person or having to be married to the other person.

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