What is freedom? It is knowing Jesus


Jim Honeycutt

Chaplain-Baptist Minister

A few days ago, in a conversation with a man about breaking free from the chains of unwanted thought patterns, he had asked me a very simple, but not easily answered question. What does freedom from your tormenting thoughts look like? And though I had given him my answer, I now sat and thought about it further. And as I did…

I remember resting with my father as a small child on the back porch of our house in the country. It was late in the evening surrounded by a sky filled with a million points of light, him holding me close to his side. Smelling the day’s work on him, feeling his touch, I felt comfort. I ask myself, is this such freedom?

The hour I came to know Jesus personally, being led by my mother to take His hand at an early age, brings a joyful smile to my face. Is this such freedom? I think about my wedding day, the love and hope I found as Melissa and I began our life together. Her beauty captivated my eye, her heart my heart. I think, is this such freedom?

I remember holding my daughter for the first time while the emotion rolled down my cheeks. The joy so abundant it was uncontainable. Again, I question, is this such freedom?

All these precious memories with a thousand more play in my mind. And yes, each one of them in their own way express such freedom. 

But my walk through life has not always been carefree. With rocks of various types getting lodged in the sole of my shoes. Rocks that make walking forward difficult. Rocks that cause wear and tear on my body. Rocks that at times cause me to stumble. These rocks though bothersome I can do something about, when I take time to stop, sit, remove them. 

But there has been a rock in my shoe. A rock lodged between my heel and my shoe. A rock not easily removed. A rock placed inside my shoe a long time ago. A rock that though calloused over has been a source of pain off and on as long as I can remember. A rock that I did not choose for myself but was given me by an abusive caregiver.

For years I couldn’t understand why I struggled with anger and moments of anxiety. Why did my mind find offense so easily? Why couldn’t I break free of the self-loathing thoughts?

I know in Christ I am a new creation, yet a part of the old life that I knew little about seemed to be dragging along on an invisible chain behind me. After walking with the rock so long, I had forgotten how I had even gotten it exactly. Over time, I had even come to ignore it most days. Until I would step wrong and its presence would manifest in various ways. So as the question of freedom was asked, I answered by telling the man of a dream I had. 

In a large glass vestibule of my childhood church I stand. A friend from the present stands with me in that place of the past. Outside I see the brightness of the sun, the beauty of the flowers, the lush green grass, the dances of the birds in flight and the calling of the day. But the glass hinders me from joining the call. The glass doors others use are closed to me.

I long to be outside, but how can I reach it? Something begins to change within me. I tell my friend ‘Watch this,’ as I gently lay my hand upon the glass. With the slightest push my hand passes effortlessly through the glass. Soon, I am standing outside in the sun totally liberated from the glass vestibule. I turn and push my face back through the glass and say to my friend, “What do you think of that?”

“I’ve never seen that before,” he says with amazement. And we laugh! 

I see freedom as being able to push past the things that keep me from experiencing the peace offered me. Things that allow me to see it, just not abide in it. Things that keep me limping along, with an uneven gait. Things placed on me by others in my past, that manifest pain in the present… My friend, if you are wondering if my dream came true, I will testify that it did.

After much prayer and time before the Lord, I walked with Him into my past where he touched my childhood heel, cut out the lodged rock, applying healing balm to my open wound. In time it will become a scar, a reminder of my healing. Like the scar I carry on my chest from my heart surgery. But it can now heal completely, for what I couldn’t do, He did.

The morning is bright, the darkness of yesterday is gone never to return in such a manner. The lingering effect may be felt for a time, yet the hope for tomorrow shines brighter. The healing I needed was never denied, time just made it seem that way. Beyond faith that leads to salvation, is a faith that leads to healing. And that healing brings freedom. That freedom is Jesus!


Leave a reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.