From slavery to Slavery
A quick conversation occurred last night with someone we haven’t talked to since before Phil was fired, since before we moved. Which, really, was only a couple months ago, but a lifetime, too. There was concern over whether or not our family was well. At least I took it that way because I tend to read between the lines and if I know a person, I can normally, pretty accurately, know their motives. It’s a gift and a curse, the knowing. I’d rather be naive most days.
“I’m glad you guys are happy”
“Angry is ugly and we choose to enjoy and be content,” I replied.
What I normally would’ve done, what ran through my mind, was to do was tell of the emotional stress, the chaos of having to find a new place to live, a new job, a new everything in less than a month with almost no savings and very little unemployment. But the truth is, this time, this traumatic event, I didn’t dwell on the bad stuff. Yes it was there and it sometimes snuck up on me. But for the most part, I was ok with the change.
It felt a lot like how I imagine Moses felt when leading the Israelites out of Egypt, out of slavery. They were taken care of in Egypt, fed well, clothed
but they were still slaves.
They were owned
and then God released them in a very big and public way.
Two Sundays ago, our Pastor spoke of being a slave to Christ. The Greek term for “slave” is dulos which has emphasis on serving. My mind immediately went to a contemporary term, “doula” the person present at a woman’s birth, giving non-medical support. This term also has its roots in this same Greek word and doula means “female slave.”
I understand how a doula works. I’ve taken photos at my friend’s home birth and watched her doula care over her. My aunt is a doula. And these women, these doulas, they come up alongside of the woman in labor. They choose this. They are not forced, coerced, or otherwise.
Am I forced to be a dulos to Christ? Absolutely not. Yet, many days I wear the chains of this servanthood as if I am beat down by a cruel master.
To be clear, it is me who chooses to pick up those chains of bondage and carry them.
I read a passage this morning from 1 Corinthians:
“Each one must live his life in the situation the Lord assigned when God called him…Each person should remain in the life situation in which he was called. Were you called while a slave? It should not be a concern toyou. But if you can become free, by all means take the opportunity. For he who is called by the Lord as a slave is the Lord’s freedman. Likewise he who is called as a free man is Christ’s slave.”
That word “freedman” is used only once in the New Testament. It means “a slave that has been released from servitude.”
Today, I set out to write about us choosing joy, choosing to be happy and content and somehow (thanks Holy Spirit) went down a rabbit trail of slavery. Such a heavy topic on a beautiful Saturday morning. But this freedom falls on me like sunshine in the morning. It warms my soul and the heaviness falls away as I realize He has not only set me free from death, but also, set me free from the slavery I keep choosing.
I was given a verse recently, aptly from the book of Joshua: “Consecrate yourself, because the Lord will do wonders among you tomorrow.”
I’m starting to see that I’m being led out of slavery (into Slavery) into the Promised Land. And though there will be battles, I’m looking forward to this new freedom.