Living Free

How often do we miss the freedom God provides for us when we get "stuck" in unexpected journey turns? Read on and discover how to find freedom within the journey, whatever it brings.


Living Free

By Leah Robin Kohlsaat

We were trapped. On our return trip from our Hawaiian honeymoon, reminiscing about the serene tropical getaway quickly turned to desperate desires for home. Flying over the Pacific, we felt refreshed from our time away together, the smell of the salty ocean and island sun still on our skin; we chatted about our excitement to begin "real life" back home as newlyweds. After the long red-eye flight from Kauai to Los Angeles, we anticipated a quick jaunt to Denver.

Urrrrrrrrrch. But not so fast. A brief layover became a detention in the twilight zone. Due to a "technical error," we missed our connecting flight and were S-T-U-C-K in the miserable world of 1980s forest green carpet, musty smells, too many people and not enough seats that is LAX. We felt imprisoned.

Twenty-four hours of travel later, we were finally home. Lying in bed that night I had this thought: How often do I live my life like I am stuck beyond my control?

Jesus has given me access to the runway of abundant living, not to mention the glories of heaven, and yet instead of taking flight, I often freeze up somewhere along the journey.

While in line at the grocery store, I get STUCK seeing someone else's cart and immediately conclude that she must be better at this meal-planning and budgeting gig than I am, instead of giving thanks for the ability to buy what is in MY cart.

While sitting before my blank computer screen, with a sermon or article to write, I get STUCK, wondering what I might have to say that hasn't already been said, instead of feeling grateful for the purview and wisdom I have to share.

While standing on the bathroom scale, I get STUCK as old lies about my body creep up behind me, instead of giving thanks for breath in my lungs and a relatively healthy body.

Be gone! Be gone, in Jesus name. I am a free woman.

The past has no power. The details of my life are noted by the divine. I am free, I am free, hallelujah!

I love Psalm 107 in The Message paraphrase: "Some of you were locked in a dark cell - a hard sentence and your hearts so heavy, and not a soul in sight to help. Then you called out to God in your desperate condition; he got you out in the nick of time. He led you out of your dark, dark cell, broke open the jail and led you out. So thank God for his marvelous love, for his miracle mercy to the children he loves; he shattered the heavy jailhouse doors, he snapped the prison bars like matchsticks!"

One of the things that struck me as I reflected on our airport misadventure, is that freedom is not a feeling, but a state of reality. Imagine someone has just been released from their prison sentence, yet they decide to spend their freedom still living inside their cell. Ridiculous! And yet, how often do I still act like the Living God hasn't forged and funded my freedom with his own life? The gospel writer of John exclaims with a literary shout: "Who the Son has set free, is free indeed!" (John 8:36) In Christ, we are free from shame, comparison, idolatry, and freed up to live for him and with him!

While it may be awhile before I board another plane, I am a free woman. Now it's up to me to enjoy that sweet sweet freedom. And soar.

Leah Robin Kohlsaat is founder and owner of Elle Design Florals, a floral design studio in Denver, Colorado. Through her work with flowers, she seeks to help others encounter God through beauty. A graduate of Denver Seminary, Leah lives with her husband, Brian, and is often found running, cooking, or writing about their adventures.

© Elisa Morgan 2020

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