Set Free – Live Free
God has such a sense of humor. Here we are locked up in a pandemic, and our Alliance Women’s theme for 2020-2021 is Set Free—Live Free. Some may not find that funny, but I smiled at the irony—How can we be set free and live free while in a pandemic?
Life has many confinements—places where our dreams are shattered and mental chains imprison us. When I was diagnosed with leukemia, life as I knew it stopped. As I adjusted to my new normal, God placed Psalm 139:16b in my mind: “All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” Peace filled me as I realized that this hard day, and every easy day, was ordained by God. “Ordained” is defined as “set apart for a purpose.” All our days, including pandemic days, are set apart for a purpose—to glorify God.
As I looked at cancer not as an obstacle but as an opportunity, God set me free by opening doors for me to minister to cancer patients and their families—people I never would have met had I not stepped into a cancer center.
The apostle Paul had experience with the loss of freedom. In Acts 16 he and Silas were stripped, beaten, and thrown into prison—their feet fastened in stocks. Did Paul play the victim, responding in anger toward God or the prison guards? No. Acts 16:25 says, “About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.”
Picture it: Paul and Silas were singing and the other prisoners were listening. At midnight. In prison. The result? God’s powerful presence was made known. Suddenly, there was a violent earthquake, the prison doors flew open, chains came loose, and the jailer fell trembling before Paul and Silas and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” (see Acts 16:26–30). Wow! Talk about being set free!
In these days of pandemic, pain, confusion, and confinement, let us seek opportunities to minister to those around us. May we be joyful intercessors and worshippers, instead of adding our voices to the discordant din of complainers on social media. May God use us to set prisoners free in our homes, neighborhoods, workplaces, and where we play and worship. Let us shine Jesus’ light on a dark world, so those still captive will fall on their knees and ask, “What must I do to be saved?”