He knew he’d be arrested again, but that was what he wanted. It was too too scary out here. In prison he would be locked up, but at least he’d know what to expect. He’d know the rules, know he would eat three times a day. So when they let him out, he arranged to go right back. For us on the outside, that doesn’t make much sense. Sure, it’s more unpredictable out here in real life, but it’s also more free. Without freedom it just isn’t living. We understand that, but for some who have been locked up most of their lives, they can’t see it.
Like the people of Israel who suddenly found themselves released from slavery in Egypt following Moses out into the desert. He thought they would relish the sweet aroma of freedom in their nostrils. But they didn’t get it.
11 They said to Moses, “Is it because there are no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? What have you done to us in bringing us out of Egypt? 12 Is not this what we said to you in Egypt: ‘Leave us alone that we may serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.” Exodus 14:11-12
2 And the whole congregation of the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness, 3 and the people of Israel said to them, “Would that we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the meat pots and ate bread to the full, for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.” Exodus 16:2-3
We read that and think, “How could anyone prefer to live in slavery? How could they choose not to be free? But slavery was all they knew. They were more comfortable as slaves. Stepping into real life was too scary.
If you are tracking with all that, consider these words of Jesus:
25 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. Matthew 16:25
Jesus invites us to trust Him and follow Him. But, having surrounded ourselves with things that make life seem predictable and secure, it may seem as though He invites us into a desert wilderness. It may seem too scary. But in reality, Jesus invites us to step into real life and real freedom.
1 For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1