He brought them out of darkness, the utter darkness, and broke away their chains. -Psalm 107:14 (NIV)

I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted. -Job 42:2 (NIV)

Ever seen photos of an adult elephant chained to a post? The chain is comically small, logically too weak to possibly hold the elephant back. In truth, the elephant could snap it in a heartbeat and go in freedom…but it’s been trained since childhood that chains couldn’t be broken. And that was true when the elephant was smaller.

And so it is in our lives. We’ve been living in chains of guilt, shame, sin, greed, and more. But God has a greater purpose for His children, which won’t be thwarted by mere earthly bindings.

I was trained and raised with shame and guilt, two powerfully effective tools to keep me in check. They were emotional and mental chains that bound me in a godless existence, and it wasn’t till decades later that Jesus blasted those chains to bits. He showed me that condemnation was no longer my prison.

But sometimes we can pick up our old chains, as weird and twisted it may be. There are those in my life who wield guilt and shame expertly, and I sometimes find myself reverting to my old self, putting myself back in chains. It’s at that moment that we can look up to God, and not down at the ground, and remember what He did for us…and to see those who oppress us with His compassion. We can pray for them.

Old chains aren’t what they used to be. Thank you, Jesus!