739) Longing to Be Free

 From The Strong-willed Child, by Dr. James Dobson, 1978, pages 181-182.

     My daughter has a pet hamster (uncreatively named ‘Hammy’) who has a passion for freedom.  He spends a portion of every night gnawing on the metal bars of his cage and forcing his head through the trap door.  Recently I sat watching Hammy busily trying to escape.  But I was not the only one observing the furry little creature.  Sitting in the shadows a few feet away was old Sigmund, our dog.  His erect ears, squinted eyes, and panting tongue betrayed his sinister thoughts.  Sigmund was thinking, “Come on, Hammy, break through to freedom!  Bite those bars and get away, and I’ll give you a thrill like you’ve never experienced.”

     How interesting, I thought, that the hamster’s greatest desire would bring him instant and violent death if he should be so unfortunate to achieve it.  Hammy simply lacked the perspective to realize the folly of his wishes.  The application to human experience was too striking to be missed and I shook my head silently as the animal drama spoke to me.  There are occasions when the longings and desires of our children would be harmful or disastrous if granted.  They would choose midnight bedtime hours and no schoolwork and endless cartoons on television and chocolate sundaes by the dozen.  And in later years, they might not see the harm of drug abuse and premarital sex and a life of uninterrupted fun and games.  Like Hammy, they lack the perspective to observe the dangers which lurk in the shadows.  Alas, many young people are ‘devoured’ before they even know that they have made a fatal mistake.

     Then my thoughts meandered a bit farther, to my own relationship with God and the requests I submit to Him in personal prayer.  I wondered how many times I had asked Him to open the door on my ‘cage,’ not appreciating the security it was providing.  I resolved to accept His negative answers with greater submission in the future.

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Psalm 119:44-45  —  I will always obey your law, for ever and ever.  I will walk about in freedom, for I have sought out your precepts.

Galatians 5:13  —  You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free.  But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.

II Peter 2:19  —  They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity; for “people are slaves to whatever has mastered them.”

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Jesus sought me when a stranger
Wandering from the throne of God
He to rescue me from danger
Interposed His precious blood

Oh, to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be
Let that grace now, like a fetter
Bind my wandering heart to Thee

Prone to wander, Lord I feel it
Prone to leave the God I love
Here’s my heart, oh, take and seal it
Seal it for Thy courts above

Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing, 1758, Robert Robertson