I turned to the left but there was no room to maneuver. I supposed the right might be better, but no, it was worse – I could neither turn to the right nor to the left – either way I tried, I was stuck and there was no way to get out – I was trapped.
I looked behind in anxiety to the sound of whooshing and swishing as drivers navigated nonchalantly through the snowy road oblivious of the fact I was trapped. One driver slowed down, looked at me pitifully and without a word drove away.
Snow in Texas is always an unwelcome visitor. It had snowed during the night and by the morning, it was still snowing. The roads were not as bad as they had been the previous week when most businesses closed offices. I’m usually not afraid to try out on anything and definitely the snow would not hold me back.
Highway 75 had very little traffic, but the drive was smooth. At some point I saw the lane I was on was snowy and there were track marks showing vehicles had changed lanes. That’s what I wanted to do-big mistake. As I turned, the vehicle slid through the lanes a couple of times, completely refused any orders I gave, and with no power and gear on neutral, the car headed for the rail guards, and grounded to a halt after denting the rail – facing the direction we had come from. There was so much snow where the car had stalled; it was laughable to imagine I could even think of moving it from there.
I realized the only way I could save myself was to seek help. It was pitiful, a feeling of helplessness and I hate being in such a position where I can’t help myself. I convinced myself that I was not a victim, as I skinned off the victim disposition. The reality was I couldn’t help myself even if I tried, and I was not too proud to seek for help – I reached for my cell phone and called the emergency hotline, and within minutes, help was on the way and I was back to normalcy in style.
You can break free from anything or any situation that has bound you. It doesn’t matter how you ended up being in bondage or trapped, that is an unnecessary detail. What is important is you must have that desire to be free. There is that feeling of how foolish you were to get into the mess, but truth be told, we all get baited by things that attract us, but once you realize it’s a trap, use your energy, not to lament on the mistakes, but in breaking free. Refuse to be a victim, regardless of what has happened, regardless of the price you have to pay. You will be better of free, than trapped in misery.
For thirty-eight years, this man was imprisoned by a sickness that required him to jump into the pool when the angel stirred the water. But he had nobody to help him crawl to the pool and year after year he remained there. Until Jesus came by and asked him what he wanted done for him. Thirty eight years is a long time to be imprisoned. It’s a long time to be unable to do anything for but sit and stare in the same status, looking at people come in bondage and leave free. I believe by Jesus asking him what he wanted done for him, it was a test for him to decide what was really important to him. Did he want to break free from the bondage that held him down or was he content? He chose to be free from the bondage of sickness, and he received his freedom.
In my moment of being trapped, I wondered to myself how many people out there were trapped like me and afraid to cry out. I recalled the wife of a preacher in Selmer, a small town in Tennessee, who in 2006 “snapped after years of abuse”, took the gun and fatally shot her husband. She was in a trap, and could not see any way of escape from the abuse, until mentally she could not take it anymore. She could not break free until she reached the ‘no return” point, that point where it did not matter what she did. Most people committing such heinous crimes are locked in some form of bondage. They refuse to seek for help fearing the worst may happen, and end up doing what they think is best for them. If you have tried solving an issue and you are ending up nowhere, probably it’s the best time to seek for help. No crime is a solution, nor an excuse to cause harm unless it’s in self-defense.
I thought of people who have committed suicide after looking ceaselessly for ways of escape and finding none, take their lives, the very life they wanted to protect. It’s like knowingly throwing away the only keys to your door not knowing that once you shut it you can never open it again. point of no return. You have the power to determine how far you want to travel down that road. Don’t allow yourself to reach a point of no return, don’t listen to that voice that urges you to do something that your conscience tells you it’s wrong. Seek help.
We are surrounded by people who are in different types of snares. Some are temporary caused by temporary conditions, some are bearable, yet some are permanent until we purposely do something about it. Just like I was in a small trap in an interstate highway and no motorist thought for a moment that I couldn’t just turn the vehicle and drive away, particularly because the vehicle did not have any visible damage – there could be someone out there trapped in a spiritual interstate, or a marital interstate, an ethical highway. In the meantime, life for the rest of the world goes on; your friends and enemies alike move past you, as they navigate through life, not considering for a moment why you are where you are.
You can get out of any situation you find yourself in as long as you are willing to do so. The power within you is much stronger than the microchip in your computer that tells it to reboot, because even when the power is off, the microchip is still on. The one who created you, put some super charge power within you, so that even when you are weak, you still have power with in you, even when you are down you still have power within you to pick you up, even when you are trapped, you have power within you to seek for help. Let no one tell you that you can’t get out of the situation, let no one tell you that your situation is for a long time, let no one tell you that you can’t make it from here. All you need to do is to realize you have a power within you, and you can make it past this problem, past this situation, past this delinquency.
When Nicodemus walked to Jesus by night it wasn’t because he couldn’t approach him by day. He was in a situation he wanted out. He struggled daily, pretending that everything was fine, but inside of him he was wondering how long he would keep pretending. “How much more can I take” he must have thought to himself. As a leader of one of the most influential group, he couldn’t lay his guard down; he had to show how strong a Pharisee he was even though in the inside he was feeling weak and unable to take this anymore, he chose to cry out for help. One evening, after his guards were released to their quarters for the night, he walked to Jesus, wanting to know nothing more than how he could see the kingdom of God. He had realized that he was trapped and wanted a way out. “How can I be born again?” he asked Jesus. He couldn’t live a pretentious life anymore; he wanted to know whether there was a chance for him to see the Kingdom of God – even though he had fought against the same message all through.
Sometimes the past cannot only trap you but also stop you from moving forward. These past mistakes, past failures, and past goofs keep coming back and haunt you, stopping you from moving on with your life, by creating fear. You need to confront them, declaring you are not who you were then, “thing have changed, I’m no longer the person who made those mistakes”. Ulysses S Grant is quoted to have said, “The art of war is simple enough. Find out where your enemy is. Get at him as soon as you can. Strike him as hard as you can, and keep moving on”. Declare war on the past that keeps haunting you, don’t allow the past that you cannot change, the past that created harm and disharmony, trap you and stop you from reaching your destiny. If you allow your past to dwell with you, it will hinder you from moving forward. The past has a way of showing you how inadequate, pathetic, and despondent you are. It has a way of defining you as incapable, undependable, capricious and heaping blame on you, declaring glaring statements, “had you not done this, this would never have happened, had you been more responsible, this child would be alive today, had you been more dependable, you would be the CEO today”, and so on. This is all wishful thinking; the truth is there is nothing you can do. What happened, happened, and it’s now time to brush off the dirt from your sartorial and move on, it’s time to show, not the world, but that person inside you, that you are much stronger, much wiser, more discerning and ready to move on.
King Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes 9:11, 12, “I have seen something else under the sun: The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all. Moreover, no one knows when their hour will come: As fish are caught in a cruel net, or birds are taken in a snare, so people are trapped by evil times that fall unexpectedly upon them”. Traps will be there and you will be ensnared.
Not too long ago we visited a church for a Sunday service, with my family, but the loud speakers were super loud, and the speaker did not help either as he shouted from the top of his lungs. He went on for what I thought was hours until I could bear it no more. I told my wife “We are not in a prison, and we can leave whenever we want”. And we did, we had the power and the will. Why would we remain inside torturing ourselves, when we could liberate ourselves? Quit justifying wrongs done against you saying “this is the cross the Lord wants me to bear”. No connect to the power within you, gather your courage and seek for help You don’t deserve to be treated badly even if you did wrong, you don’t deserve to be abused even if you don’t have a job, you don’t deserve to be mistreated just because. Remember God is never surprised and the moment you take your courage and take an action, God open a door of blessing for you. Most often we have this fear of financial delinquency, “if I walk out, how am I going to survive”, well the same way you have survived, the Lord will provide. The devil is a liar and he would like to keep you in a controlled state, where he keeps reminding of all your inadequacies – when he does this remind him of the power within you!
Refuse to be trapped, but when it happens, do all that there is within your power to break free. Often we live in so much trouble and turmoil we doubt we could ever be free. We doubt we’ll ever be happy again, we doubt we’ll eve r live a normal life again. Yes you can but it will take you. It will take you to say no to traps and yes to breaking free. It will take you to say yes, I can make it and no, I’m not a loser.
Refuse to be trapped by your past, regardless of what you did or said. That’s in the past, let’s leave it there. Realize you are not a pioneer, as what you did has been done by someone ahead of you, so get over with it and move on with life. A young lady came crying to her pastor that her past was haunting her. Came to find out that in her youth, she had terminated a pregnancy, which also terminated her freedom. She could never forgive herself; she lived the entire pregnancy and nightmares were her portion. Her life was pegged to her past no matter how much she tried to move on that experience kept coming back. She had to be determined to understand that God does really forgive and gives us a second chance like he had given her. But we must be willing to cry out for help, don’t sit in your worry and fear.
There’s no trap you cannot get out from. You can overcome all those lying voices screaming at you “Everyone would be better off without me, there’s no value in being alive” and so on and so lies. You are more valuable than you can ever imagine. There is no trouble that you cannot get out from no matter what people or those voices say. Break free from the past, it doesn’t matter how ugly it may have been, you got to break free from it. Most of all, seek help from your pastor, a doctor, talk to someone you trust, tell them you are in a trap and you need help.
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” [1 John 1:9], giving us a second chance, helping us break free from the bondage that holds us back, and setting us free to live for God.