Living Uncaged

I have a lot of blogs and books that I read and I often mark, highlight, re-write, dog ear, etc. so that I’ll remember a profound comment or statement.  So, for the month of December I’d like to share a lot of these “wows” with you that other folks have written.  Today’s post is about being free.  For some of you – this is a bit irrelevant.  For other’s – it hits you in the deep tender spot in your heart.  I hope you’ll take a moment, dwell in it, and simply be embraced by our Lord.

This post comes from an author by the name of Mary DeMuth and she is commenting on what to do when you are feeling down.

3. Choose to live uncaged.

God  has been up to something new in my life over the past year. An  unsettling.

 A shift in perspective. A new life. He is freeing me, moment  by moment.

Which is why I changed my tagline from Turning Trials to Triumph to Live Uncaged.

(A hearty thanks to George Weis at Tekeme Studios for designing the new look!)

It’s not that I don’t embody the first tagline. It’s that it seemed  to place more

emphasis on trials, and I really didn’t like the word  triumph. It connotes something

I’ve done, as if I’ve triumphed over my  past in my own strength. So not true. It’s

all Jesus, folks.

And as I examine what the Lord has done in my heart these past few months, I know

He  has uncaged me. Set me free. Allowed me to soar. This is something I  couldn’t

do on my own; it’s His sheer gift of grace. Nor is it that I’m a  Pollyanna now,

 rejoicing when bad things happen. It’s that my  perspective on my life is shifting

from pessimism to optimism. A Jesusy  optimism.

I learned this truth: I no longer need to be defined by the trials in the past.

 I am not Mary who suffered (though it is part of my story). I am Mary  who has

been set free. Untangled. Opened up. Ready for new things.  Anticipatory.

I’m reminded of one of my favorite Scriptures:

Isaiah 43:18-19

New International Version (NIV)

“Forget the former things;

do not dwell on the past.

See, I am doing a new thing!

Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?

I am making a way in the wilderness

and streams in the wasteland.”

I have spent a lot of time in the past, dwelling there, ruminating,  digging deeply.

But God has been clear over the past 12 months that He  is about to do something

 brand new. He is going to restore the  desolation, renew what has been lost. He

 asks me (and you) the probing  question, “Will you not perceive it?”

I believe our cages (usually created from our painful past) have  become comfortable

and easy. We’ve learned to live in them, to have them  be our normal. Flying and

 soaring are too scary, too new, too  different. We’d rather live trapped because

it’s become our strange  comfort zone.

In Colorado during our vacation, the Lord directed me to the  Scriptures about fowlers.

A fowler is someone who catches a bird in a  trap or snare. He is a type of hunter

who observes the behavior of birds  to predict what they will do next. Then he traps

the bird based on what  it typically does. In like manner, Satan is our fowler,

but Jesus sets  us free. Satan wants to trip us up. Jesus wants to watch us fly.

Consider this scripture: “For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and

from the deadly pestilence” (Psalm 91:3, ESV).

Or this: “We have escaped like a bird out of the fowler’s  snare; the snare has

been broken, and we have escaped. Our help is in  the name of the Lord who made

heaven and earth” (Psalm 124:7-8, NIV).

Charles Spurgeon aptly expounds about this freedom here:

God delivers his people from the snare of the  fowler in two senses.  From, and

out of. First, he delivers them from  the snare-does not let them enter it; and

secondly, if they should be  caught  therein, he delivers them out of it. The first

promise is the  most precious to some; the second is  the best to others. “He shall

 deliver thee from the snare.” How? Trouble is often the means whereby  God delivers

us. … At other times, God keeps his people from the snare  of the  fowler by giving

them great spiritual strength,  so that when  they are tempted to do evil they say,

“How can I do this  great  wickedness, and sin against God?” … Thou shalt yet

be brought out of all  evil into which thou hast  fallen,  and though thou shalt

 never cease  to repent of thy ways, yet he that  hath loved thee will not cast

thee  away; he will receive thee, and  give thee joy and gladness, that the  bones

which he has broken may  rejoice. No bird of paradise shall die in the fowler’s

net.”

We are all birds of paradise, meant to soar. We are meant to be free.  To live so

fully engaged and joyful in the present that most folks  wouldn’t be able to tell

that we’ve had difficult pasts. That’s how big  our God is compared to our trials.

“For he shatters the doors of  bronze and cuts in two the bars of iron. … He brought

them out of  darkness and the shadow of death, and burst their bonds apart” (Psalm

 107:6, 14).

My heart for you who are reading this post is that you’ll experience  uncaged, joyful

freedom as I have. I’m still in process. I still deal in  the doldrums, but I’m

seeing more light lately. And that is why I  write. I can’t help but tell you the

beautiful things God is doing in my  life. God gave me a voice. “If the Lord had

 not been my help, my soul would’ve lived in the land of silence” (Psalm 49:17).

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