Found and Free {#31 Days}

And they drove him out (Jn. 9.14)

Do these words not make your heart sink into your stomach? Man Born Blind Now Seeing {see yesterday’s post} finds himself sideway with leadership and out. he. goes. For any of us who have found ourselves left out, squeezed out, or kicked out we know the sickening feeling of rejection.

It seems that in the ways of God there is appointed a time (or multiple times, if you’re a slow learner like uh-hum someone I know) when others will not only dismiss and/or criticize God’s work in you, they will also reject you. Yes, it feels personal. Yes, it hurts. Yes, the pain can be a prison.

A dark and bitter prison, that is. Feeling misunderstood and being alone is a nasty cocktail that will do a number on your self-worth and value. Worse, it will mess with your calling. It lingers with a gnawing headache of confusion, helplessness, and doubt.

Nowhere does this prison feel darkest than when it is those in church leadership who do the ousting. For so many church leadership represents the tangible rule of God. If God’s leaders reject you, then God must be rejecting you too.

I don’t have to wonder too long on how Man Born Blind Now Seeing felt being driven out. I too have asked the wrong questions and provided the wrong answers that have found me trying not to let the door hit me on the way out.

But sometimes being on the outs is freedom. Church leaders make mistakes, as all humans do. Sometimes their allegiances get misplaced. Sometimes they protect their ways and positions; they guard and gate-keep the wrong things. Sadly, sometimes truth is on the outside and to walk in it requires getting thrown out.

Jesus is not to be confused with the leaders of his church. Hear these beautiful words: “Jesus heard they had driven him out, and when he found him” (Jn. 9.35). Man Born Blind Now Seeing had failed the membership test for the church. He had been weighed and found wanting on the scales of others’ acceptance and approval. But that is not Jesus  way. Jesus heard what happened to him. He went and found him. He welcomed him into his presence. And there was worship.

Man Born Blind Now Seeing was found and free. We are too. Yes, sometimes we are released from a prison through a painful event, but is not freedom worth it? I think about my own experience. Wanting others to value and accept me was a prison that the Lord knew I needed to be released from in order to see him rightly and to worship freely. It was painful. It was worth it. Jesus found me and I am free.

May you be found and free today. Free indeed!

This month I’m participating with The Nester in her 31 Days challenge to write every day on a topic of choice. I’m writing this month on how Jesus make us free.

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