Bound or Boundless?

www.youtube.com/watch?v=p7p4coF7Tf4 (Click to view inspiration for his song, “One Day”)

03 One Day by Mark Schultz

This post today is dedicated to my daughter in medical school, Hope. Hope sent me this youtube and this song. I am so deeply touched by her insight and processing, that I feel moved to write a post on it.

We are all bound. We are bound by disappointments, anger, resentment, bitterness, arrogance, pain, betrayal, abuse, loss, fear, broken dreams, stress, pride, numbness, hurt, lost hope. . .the list is endless. All of those are our “physical realm/flesh responses” to our circumstances. . .And it is normal, understandable in the broken world in which we live. I know pain, loss, fear, broken dreams, numbness, lost hope, disappointments. . .circumstances far beyond my control in which I am bound to in the flesh. I stay numb much of the time. I’m just being honest, I could not function daily at the depth of my emotions. Authenticity, even when it takes me outside my comfort zone, empowers my journey for others? Right God? I’m counting on you to show up here?!!! My daughter, Hope reaching out to me broke through that wall of a numb existence into my world bound by ALS, and opened me back up into where the Spirit is and where freedom lives.

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 2 Corinthians 3:17 NIV

That amazing story Mark shared about the boy in the wheelchair during his concert. . .strikes clearly, wheelchair bound and it strikes clearly on the boundless hope of healing. He will one day run freely into the arms of Christ and the wheelchair will just be a small part of his journey.

We are created, meant, destined for boundless. What a beautiful example that boy is of embracing His boundless destiny from his bound circumstances. I’ll share a personal story with you. . .I am one of private worship. I experience it deeply into my bones, but find it hard to express it outwardly. I’m just reserved.  Well, one sweet opportunity to share part of my journey, I found myself on “stage” with a group of women in an audience posture. (And an audience of ONE! My Lord).  I felt so at home, so embraced and so alive in Him at that moment in ministry. . .And I heard Him say, “How many times have I prompted you to raise your arms up to me and you’ve denied me? The time may come when your arms will not raise high in praise? Will you praise me with abandon now that you still can? Will you lift your arms to me?” I had only worshiped with arms held high in praise one other time. . .At the beach alone, on one of “our walks.” (This is so intimate, I feel it in my toes!) Standing on the sandy shore, with feet washed in saltwater warmth, and face turned toward the close of day. . .My arms went up in to express my gratitude for His beauty there and the calling to His Horizon. Even then, I’ll admit to just “you” that I felt, self-conscious. My heart posture was so sincere, but I was still bound by awareness of “me” and anyone that might be watching “me.” We are interesting creatures, aren’t we?

This time on stage was completely different, My arms felt feather light and up they went, in what felt like “reckless abandon” to my love and praise for my precious Lord. Bound by ALS, had given me freedom in boundless praise and worship. Everything about that moment felt so right and I felt the Lord’s delight with my response. To many of you, it seems small. But for me, it was a moment to embrace freedom in praise and swwwweeeeeet adoration of our Lord.

I feel so proud of this young man, we will never know. Mark wrote a song for him it so moved his heart to tears in concert. He sets an example for all of us, in the circumstances that have us bound to our “flesh” responses when we are called into the Spirit of the Lord, to know freedom. I hope and pray. . .

Dear Lord, we are bound in ourselves but boundless in the Spirit of Who you are. . .without you we have no hope of finding freedom. In you, through you and with the Spirit of Who you are, we can experience freedom, despite our circumstances. We take everything to which we are bound and bind it at the foot of  Your Cross. Your Son came to set us, the captives free from fear, despair, bitterness, loss and pain into the Freedom of Your Truth, Light and Love. May each and every one that reads this, feel the call to freedom in You. May each and every one that reads this respond to Your call to freedom. May each and every one that reads this experience, beyond the circumstance that binds, a new freedom in YOU. Amen

I’m going to challenge you, look into the mirror today and say, “I am set free in my Jesus.” Say it like you know it to be True with confidence that reaches beyond your circumstance. I’ll not ask you to do anything, I won’t do. . .so it is my challenge today also. It will not be easy. I do not like looking in a mirror at myself in a wheelchair. (This cannot be my life?!) It will not be easy for you,  if you allow yourself, to see into the things of the flesh to which you are bound.

To which we are bound, is not “pretty” but to which we are boundless is beyond beauty.

At this moment, as I write to you, my friend and artist, Sue Hodges is inscribing His Truth on my bedroom wall to remind me of The Life of His Spirit in me and my freedom to experience it.

Sue Hodges, Paints