Guest post by Neely Beattie
I really like Psalm 107.
“Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story.” Psalm 107:2 says,
The whole chapter talks about 4 different kinds of people and how God helps them: the wanderers, the prisoners, the sick, and the storm-tossed.
They all bear talking about, but 107:14 really stands out to me.
"He brought them out of darkness, the utter darkness, and broke away their chains."
I think this verse is talking in a literal sense of prisoners, but we can be in prison without sitting in a cell. A prison can take form in so many different ways.
Anxiety, depression, addiction, temptation, anger, jealousy.
There are so many things that can make us feel like we’re sitting in darkness. Some things we have more control over than others, but there’s one thing that can bring us out of that darkness—Jesus Christ.
For me the struggle has been with anxiety and mild depression for as long as I can remember. There have been times in my life where it is better, and there are times where I have felt like I was a prisoner to it. I have felt like I had no control over my emotions, happiness, or thoughts. Satan truly knew how to keep me down.
When I felt my worst, I can look back and see I wasn’t spending time with God at all. I have been in a room alone sobbing, pleading for God to please help me overcome the way that I felt, to help me out of the prison I felt like I was living in. But I did nothing else. No reading the bible. No trying to also help myself. Just expecting God to answer my prayer and let me carry on with the same things.
I have found when I make an intentional choice to ask for His help and then do something about it, I can feel the chains loosen, even break, and can start to see the light at the end of the tunnel. It takes intentionality and a desire to want to be free.
Spending time journaling and reading His word have been great for me. Let Jesus Christ help you find what is great for you. It might be something you don’t like depending on the struggle, but that’s where faith comes in.
We have to trust that if we come to Him in faith, asking for His help with our struggles, He will not ignore us.
We have to believe that He will provide for us the things we need for success and joy. He does not want us to feel imprisoned. He wants us to feel free, and our freedom is found in Him!
I realize some people have struggles that are much harder to face than mine. I know I just made that sound casual and easy; it wasn’t. I just don't want to write a whole novel here telling you my life story (if you would ever like to talk though, I'd be more than happy to do so!)
Everyone is different and has different needs, but asking for God’s help is an extremely important step to get out of the darkness you might feel like you’re in, suffering in chains.
Help might come in the form of courage to go to the doctor and start medication. It might be strength to admit you're hurting and the bravery to reach out to someone. It might be as simple as leading you to a new hobby that will help you relieve stress and calm your nerves. God knows no bounds when it comes to helping us. Whatever you need is not too small or too large for Him.
If you feel like you’re in a prison of any kind, I encourage you to ask God for His help. He will lead you to where you need to go!
I also encourage you, when your chains are broken, to tell your story! There is power in your testimony even if you feel it's small. There is someone out there who needs to hear what you have to say.