I was in prison, once.

I have always had an obsession with cop shows (Cops, Dog the Bounty Hunter, etc.). I love getting to watch the brave men and women of law enforcement risk their lives to put the bad guys in jail. My favorite parts of these shows are when the cops go to the door of a house with a fugitive inside and kick the door in, storm the house, and leave the bad guy vulnerable and extremely shaken up. The handcuffs go on, and jail is a car ride away. It’s a strange thought; jail; to be in a building, locked up, all freedom taken away with some pretty scary people–but how often do we put ourselves in prison..without the help of broken laws, a wild cop chase, or a physical building?

The last week I have been really struggling and fighting the idea of allowing my heart and my spirit to be put in prison. I imprison myself daily. When I choose to sin, I imprison myself with the chains of that sin. When I choose to self-protect and not trust that God will protect me and fight on behalf of me, I place my heart behind giant walls with barbed wire at the top of them. I am my own worst enemy some weeks. But God is not out to imprison me, He is out to free me. He is my defender. But what happens when I choose to fight for myself, to self protect, not let anyone (including the God of the universe) into my life? I exhaust myself and I end up fighting a fight I wasn’t made for. It’s like running into a wall over and over and over again: a lot of work, not a lot of gain. Who wants that? Who wants their heart locked up in a prison it wasn’t made for? No one.

So how do we not struggle with imprisoning ourselves? I think the answer is different for everyone. But, for me? I will choose to be undone in the presence of God–why be composed when Jesus knows my heart? I will discuss my heart’s desires with God: He says he will give me the desires of my heart anyways. I will not allow my circumstances to compromise my view on the faithfulness or the goodness of God: He is good always, and He who promised is faithful. How could I imprison my heart from the One who created it? From the one it beats for. I refuse to keep my heart from the One it will always love, the one who will always protect it.

I think the choice is up to us: to build up walls and keep our hearts captive behind walls that will ultimately crumble in the presence of God, or to go to deep places with God and experience the fullness of who He is: our Beloved.


“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will sayto the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.””

psalm 91:1-2


2 thoughts on “I was in prison, once.

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