The sun shines bright and warm; its rays are unable to penetrate my prison. I crouch in the shadows, held tight in the cold grasp of darkness. Shackled in a prison of despair.
Leg irons of expectation immobilize me. As each new demand arises, the chain that tethers me to the fortress of duty, shortens. There is much to do and I have not the strength to do it.
My wrists are bound to the grate of inadequacy. I do not have enough. I am not enough. I stare at the many people in my life through iron bars. I do not call to them to help me, rather, I move further back into the shadows out of sight. I know that I have hurt them. I know that I will continue to hurt them. Repeatedly. It is for their sake I withdraw.
This world with its impossible standards. No one can meet them. Yet, my pride compels me to keep standing against this measuring rod, always knowing I will come up short. Still sagging in defeat when I do.
I am too weary to fight. What is the point? The best of my strength is not enough. Failure is my only assurance. I’m tempted to hang my head in defeat and embrace these prison walls.
Yet, into the darkness persistent glimmers of light. My Father despises prisons. He is the releaser of captives. He whispers freedom to me.
There is a tremor of hope. I pull at my chains, expecting them to break. Instead they rub and they chafe. I complain. I cannot free myself.
“Let Me set you free,” He urges.
Suddenly, my prison shakes. Its foundations shatter and break. The doors fly open and my bonds are loosed.
Only Jesus can set the captives free. As He hung on the cross purchasing our freedom, He called out, “It is finished!” That is the moment that prisons were opened. At His words, the earth shook, rocks were split, tombs were opened and bodies raised to life. (Matthew 27:51-53) He not only sets the captives free, but raises the dead to life. There is no prison too strong, no blackness too dark, no pit too deep to silence His liberation cry.
Listen to the words of Jesus as He spoke His declaration of emancipation. Feel the shackles fall away as He calls freedom to you. Jesus is the good news. He is your freedom.
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to set at liberty those who are oppressed,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.
Luke 4: 18-19
 Acts 16:26