"All we like sheep have gone astray; we have all turned to our own way, and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all." Isaiah 53:6 (NRSV)
As a pet owner, it's likely at some point, one of your pets will get loose. It's frightening and heartbreaking when this happens. A couple of years ago, I had taken our granddog, Bella, to DW Field Park for a walk. While I was unhooking her seatbelt, and before I could get the leash on her, she bolted from the car. She didn't have any particular objective in mind; she just thought it was great fun to be free. She was running around like crazy and getting too close to Oak Street for my comfort. Since she is still with us, everything turned out okay, but it was a few heart-stopping minutes too be sure.
How God must feel that same way about us; grieving and fearing for our safety. We blithely runoff, caring not about a destination or the dangers around us, ignorantly thinking we are enjoying freedom. Satan twists God's love and concern for us, telling us instead they are boundaries and restrictions. Not to give Satan too much credit, but he is a pro at marketing strategy. How else can he take things that are really bad for us, like addiction, and convince us we are actually just exercising our freedom. Through Jesus, though, we come to understand true freedom. We are not only freed from the slavery of sin and those things that are harmful to us, but we also are given a heavenly destination. Although free to us, it came at a great price, sinless Jesus' atonement for our sins on the cross.
God, we give you thanks for the true freedom found in Jesus Christ. When we go astray, seeking false freedom, you continue to love and care for us. Thank you for not giving up on us. Please help us to remember the tremendous cost of our salvation. Amen.