Training elephants for the circus requires that a chain be placed on a baby elephants leg and attached to a post strong enough the baby pachyderm can't pull it out of the ground. Very quickly the elephant will learn that it is stuck in one place by pulling against the chain and getting nowhere. Once the elephant has learned that the chain holds it in place its handler can safely remove the chain confident the elephant will not try to leave. We look at this story and think how silly it is for the elephant to stay put. Why doesn't he keep pushing to realize that the chain is gone and he is free? We would do that if we were the elephant. Nobody could keep us still if our chains were taken off.
And yet - we, like the elephant stand still despite our freedom. God in His magnificent grace has set us free. He offers us a chain free life. The chains of shame and guilt are gone. The post has been pulled out of the ground. All too often we stay living our same small life, telling our same small story, filled with remorse and sorrow over the past. We fail to see that God has granted pardon. Our small world, where we are tied in sin and bound by shame, has been replaced by an unlimited access to redemption.
The elephant stays because it doesn't realize that freedom is just a footstep away.We are the same. We kneel at the altar and ask for newness of life but get up and fail to see that He has given it. We lift our hearts in fervent prayer to the Father begging for a change when in reality the change is only a footstep away. Are you stuck? Do you wonder why you can't escape the shame and guilt of your past? Take a step forward. For one day don't tell yourself the story of your shame. Let your guilt go. Walk away from the stake that has been your home. There's a whole world out there waiting for you. Redemption is possible. God is waiting for your to realize your chains are gone. You are free to roam in His favor and love.
Want to learn more about how to step into redemption? Watch for the first chapter of my new book Living Beyond Your Shame right here on May 15, 2019.