It is hard to move when you are in constraints. Real or metaphorical, constraints limit actions and responses. I may try to struggle, to push through the ties that bind, yet in the end I am constrained. My attempts to change things do little in this context. It is as if the constraints but control just beyond my reach.
As I struggle to get out of constraints that bind me, I realize that there are at least two types. The first is predictable – the ones imposed by others. Each time I find myself caught in this type of constraint I flash back to my first recollection coming out of major surgery. As hard as I tried, I could not seem to move. I could hear a loving laugh in the background. I realize this was a funny scene, but at the time the sound amplified my confusion. As my awareness grew, I realized that I was in a straight jacket and that my hands were tied to the rails of the bed. As my efforts intensified, I could hear my nurse’s authoritative voice.
“As you going to try to get out of bed?”
“Are you sure you are not going to try to get out of bed?”
The second type of constraint comes from my hands. My actions and thoughts author many of the hells I find myself living with and fighting to break free from. I do it to myself! Even worse, these constraints are impossible to break free from because of the self-fulfilling conversation I am having within my mind.
I wake, finding myself whispering a psalmist plea, “My God, free me from the grip of Wicked, from the clutch of Bad and Bully.” (Psalm 71.4) I know I cannot help myself. Yes, I caused much of it. In theory I should be able to save myself. I know that I cannot, it will require something more. The answer comes from a God of Compassion, Forgiveness, and Love. This God breaks the chains and leaves us with freedom. Freedom lives.