Well, happy Independence Day to us.
There are so many things from which we can obtain Independence. I think the biggest is fear: what people will say (or worse, think) about us; that we might do the Christian F-word (that's "fail," in case you were wondering); that we might be rejected and find ourselve friendless and alone. That we will never find "true love" and wander aimlessly with a broken and withering heart guarded in our pitifully hopeful and outstretched hands.
Some of these, I continue to deal with. Some I have overcome. I was reminded today that Jesus is the answer. Pretty simple, huh? When we focus our being, our living, the in and out of our breathing on the Creator-God whose whisper ignited our first respiration, and who will capture our last; when we focus our essence - thoughtmindspiritsoulactionreactionlovefearhope - on The One Who Created...well, those fears begin to melt. Perhaps that's an incorrect analogy. Fears are not like ice cubes, whose fate it is to freeze us out until the warmth of God can finally overcome them.
Fears are more like skyscrapers. When I stood at the base of the Sears Tower in Chicago on a frigid January morning, it was daunting in its pure monstrous height. Had I stood there until a millineum had passed, and like a scene from "A.I." or "The Day After Tomorrow," the whole of the building had frozen over and my bones long since withered away, the tower would still have retained its black, looming overwhelming-ness.
So perhaps fear is like that. But God is like an airplane. I can jump onto his lap/seat and strap in with the truth of his protection. I can relax in him, enjoy a sip of God-soda and nibble on some Jesus-pretzels and let him whisk me off to a new realitiy. You see, from my seat in my protected God-craft, yeah, for a while I can still see the Sears Tower. But what's that? It seems to be getting smaller. I'm certainly above it. It's no longer an oppressive hulk; now it's a 18-wheeler standing on end. I look again and it's the size of a pencil; then, perhaps a thumbtack. I can't be sure, it's getting hard to make out. Now, as I try to find it in the enormity of God's creation, it's just the head of a pin that blinks out of existence - or my ability to comprehend it - while I'm not looking.
Perhaps it still exists; perhaps I don't care. I'm too busy perusing the in-flight catalog of wonderful things that the owner/operator of this craft has in mind for me. The very essence of God's ability has wiped fear from my existence.
And so we have choice. We stand, freezing and sickly awestruck, staring up at the tower, or we refocus our attention on something much larger and enjoy the ride. People get ready, there's a plane a-comin'.
. . . "Remember that [by submission] you magnify God's work, of which men have sung. All men have looked upon God's work; man may behold it afar off. Behold, God is great, and we know Him not! The number of His years is unsearchable."
- Job 36:24-26