Tuesday, March 2, 2010

captive

We can be held captive in many ways in our lives. Not only can be we be held captive by someone, but our pasts, our minds, our desires, the weakness that surrounds us, the world and all of its lusts calling our name. One thing is for sure, whatever or whoever is our captive has a strong hold on us, has us by the hands, the feet and sometimes just the heart is enough.
We can feel closed in by our surroundings. We can desire more, and with those desires we find ourselves with feelings that are not satisfying any longer.

There are those held captive in their homes with fear of leaving. We can be held captive by our securities too, being afraid to go outside our circle.

Being held captive by fear is one of the worst. With my panic attacks they come when I least expect them. Most come in the middle of the night, just out of the blue. I remember when they first began to happen. Family and friends asked me if something was wrong. They seemed to feel like I was letting stress or emotion overtake my mind. They felt like there had to be something pushing me into these strange feelings I did not understand. And that is just it. I didn't understand them. I tired of hearing others say, "Its just all in your mind. Learn to calm yourself down when they happen and just relax." See, if you have never had a panic attack, you have no idea of what its like. To experience such fear and unknown out of the blue gives you the feeling that you are dying. They are not in my mind, and they are not something I can just breathe through. For me, nothing was wrong in my life. In fact everything was great with me. That's what I didn't understand, and that is what held me captive.

The fear of these panic attacks on top of migraines coming daily held me captive and was not letting go any time soon. I was afraid to go to sleep, afraid I wouldn't wake up. I even had friends say, "Well, would that be such a bad thing?" I couldn't believe what I was hearing. I was afraid to leave my home, in fear that one would come while out shopping or with friends. I was even fearful of going to church. I didn't want others to know what I was dealing with, and in many ways I kept silent. So in keeping silent my fears were getting the best of me.

Today my panic attacks are just about under control. They do still come out of no where and they are still frightening, but I now know what they are, and that they cannot hurt me. They have nothing on me. It took me a while to understand that these frightening episodes have nothing on me. Even the migraines that still plague my life have no hold on me.

God is bigger than anything that can ever touch me. Sickness and disease have their limits, but with God, there are no limits!

With me, its migraines and panic attacks. With you it might be something totally different holding you captive. It might even be shopping, and getting a high off purchasing that great looking coat that you wear for one outing and find it pushed back in your closet hiding it from your husband.

It might be your fear of hanging on to your past. There are times we stay in our past. We linger in those moments of who we used to be and its hard to move forward. But God calls us to be new creatures, new people living for Him, leaving the old behind. We can spend so much time in the past that we lose our future.

You might be held captive by medication, by feelings of addiction. Many of the things that are holding us captive are the very things that bring comfort, and we are afraid to let go and bring in new change. But that is exactly what we need. We don't have to face letting go alone, we have a mighty God who will give us strength and a comfort that we have never known before.

Today may be the day you break the chains that are holding you back. This could be the new day, a new beginning for you. There is One who can break those chains of bondage. Those very chains of sin holding you down can be broken by the hands of God. His grace can set us free today!

Sin can also hold us captive. It can sneak up on us, and grab us when we are not looking. It can have a hold on us that is not easily broken. Sin can keep us from living the life God has called us to live.

I know the first thing for me was to be honest with myself. After I found honesty in my life, I could then be honest with others. I have found that the more I share, the more others share. When we share we know we are not alone, and when you are scared and hurting, that brings you comfort. Just a friend reaching out, taking your hand can bring blesses that are long lasting.

Whatever has a grip on your life today, let it go. Find that help you need, grab on to that friend you love, and wrap your arms around the God who loves you and don't let go. He will set you free today.

He set me free from the fears of my panic attacks and my migraines. I know that no matter what may come He is right there with me. He is in for the long haul with me. I should say I am learning not to fear. I am learning to hold on to Jesus and allow His strength to guide me and His mercy to blanket me with His comfort. I am learning I have no control over my life and giving God all my fears and insecurities is giving Him my trust. The only thing we fear is fear itself, but in God there is no fear. Open your heart to Him today, and let Him bring healing and comfort in those places where the chains have had their hold.

Ephesians 4:20-24 "But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: That you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness."

John 8:31 "Then Jesus said to those who believed Him, If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."

Psalm 46:10 " Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!"

Psalm 46:1 "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble."
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