Those Old Chains

Sometimes we wake up at the bottom of the ocean, the chains shackled around our ankles and our wrists again.  Those same chains that You broke, Lord.

We find familiarity in those shackles, in those chains.  We know what they feel like, and we sometimes think that we have missed that old life. So we leave what we know, what we love.  We drift away from our First True Love, and we find ourselves swimming back to the bottom of that ocean, in search of those chains that had us shackled for years.  We find them, and we reminisce about the days of old.  We know it’s wrong, but we do it anyway.  We want to feel that passion again that once filled us.  There is something mysterious and dark–and yet sweetly bitter–about those chains.  We pick the ends up, rubbing our fingers over the rusted shackles that once bound our wrists and our ankles. We remember the way those chains felt, and the worldly kind of love and passion that came with them.

We hear You calling us from above the ocean’s waves, calling us to come back to the surface, to let go of the thoughts of old, and rise to You.  But we haven’t felt Your presence in so long that sometimes we just want to feel something–anything.  Even worldly love.  We hear You calling, Lord.  And yet we are afraid.  We are caught in our fantasy world, dreaming of the things that once held us bound and strangled, but yet we can only see the fondness, the good memories of those times.  We don’t recall all the horrible nights we spent calling for You to come and save us.  We don’t recall all the lonely times that we spent wishing we didn’t even exist.  All we can see are the good things of old.  And we turn away from Your voice, looking back at those chains, and we pick one up, just for the heck of it we clasp one of the shackles over our wrist.  It feels familiar.  It feels comfortable.  And it feels almost safe–only because it is something that we know.  But it also feels scary. What if the shackle locks, and we can’t get back to You again?

But the familiarity of it, and the fantasy of what “could be” tantalizes our thoughts and draws us deeper away from You.  Soon, we find that we have placed yet another shackle over our ankle.  And now, our heart starts talking to us more loudly.  We can barely hear Your whisper over us, calling us, drawing us back to Your loving arms, once again.  Our minds race—are we stuck here?  What would happen if we locked these shackles over our wrists and our ankles, and then we can’t break lose again?  But something continues to draw us away from You. Our hearts are growing cold toward You and yet we are scared that maybe they are too cold for You to revive again.

Before we know it, those shackles have locked over our wrists, our ankles.  And all of a sudden, we find ourselves trapped.  We struggle against the chains, trying to release ourselves from their grasp.  We pull at the chains, and we scratch at the ocean floor, trying to release the chains from the floor.  But it’s no use.  We are stuck.

We are tired, we are worn.  We can’t rise to the surface.  We can’t even hear You anymore.  We know we have disobeyed, we know that we have turned a blind eye and a deaf ear to You, Lord.  And our hearts are in peril.  We want nothing more than to be pulled away from these chains and to be back safe in Your arms.  We fell for the lie–we drifted too far, and we got trapped at the bottom of the ocean floor.  Our air has ran out, and we feel helpless.

All of a sudden, there is a song that You place in our heart.  We start to cry out to You, we start to praise You for all that You are.  We cry out in desperation, falling to our knees and pleading with You to help us.

All of a sudden, we awake to find that we are floating toward the surface, the light is getting brighter and brighter as we approach the surface of the water. We start hearing Your voice again, calling to us to come back Home, to Your arms.  We swim as fast as we can to get back to You—and when we reach the surface of the water, You lift us out, and you place us on solid ground, warming us with Your love. Soothing us with your forgiveness.  Holding us close to You, our First True Love.

Lord, let us not lose our way.  Let our hearts not succumb to the lies of the enemy.  Let our hearts always praise You, and never turn away from You. Draw us near to You, Lord.  Draw us close to Your heart.  Help us to praise and honor You, Father.  Give us a new lease on life, and help us to remember that those chains at the bottom of that ocean are lies–they are waiting to entrap us again, but You have delivered us.  You will keep us safe.  And we must keep our focus on You and You alone in order to never again allow ourselves to be enticed by the things of the world.

Lord help us to be strong in You–because in our flesh we are weak.  Help us to walk in the Spirit and not fulfill the desires of the flesh.  Let us not wander away from You, for we know that there is nothing better than You.  There is no one greater than You. There is nothing and no one that can fulfill our hearts like You do.

Keep us close to You, Lord Jesus. Let us lay back against You, feeling You wrapping Your loving arms around us and holding us close to You.  Don’t let us let go, Lord.  Keep us close to You.

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