ODJ: Breaking Toward Freedom

February 8, 2017 

READ: Psalm 118:1-9 

In my distress I prayed to the Lord, and the Lord answered me and set me free (v.5).

Inky the octopus saw his chance and broke for freedom. In 2014, fishermen found Inky, a small octopus (roughly the size of a volleyball) trapped in a crayfish pot and severely injured. The fishermen delivered Inky to New Zealand’s National Aquarium. Though Inky seemed to adjust to his new home, one of the curators observed how they needed to “keep Inky amused” or he’d get bored.

Apparently, he got quite bored. Even more, he yearned for the freedom of the open waters. Maintenance staff accidentally left a small opening in the top of his tank, and Inky made a break for it. The next morning, aquarium staff found a trail of suction marks across the floor, leading to a small pipe that drained into the Pacific Ocean. Inky got a whiff of ocean air, and he was gone!

The yearning for freedom compels all of us. We may be trapped by sorrowful memories, by relentless addictions, by fears or false ideas or the opinion of others. We may be trapped by poverty or systems of injustice. We may be tempted to believe there’s no way to break loose. Still, in deep places, we hope that somehow we might one day break free.

The psalmist wrote, “In my distress I prayed to the Lord, and the Lord answered me and set me free” (Psalm 118:5). “The Lord is for me,” he insists, “so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me? Yes, the Lord is for me; he will help me” (vv.6-7). With God, freedom is always possible. And when God makes us free, we are free indeed (John 8:36).

In Jesus, we find true freedom. When we say yes to Christ, yes to the kingdom of God, we make a break toward freedom, toward light, toward our healing. When we run toward God, we run toward life.

—Winn Collier

365-day plan: Exodus 9:8-10:29

Read Romans 8:15. What words does Paul use to describe us when we are not moving toward freedom in Jesus? 
Where are you experiencing a need for freedom—where do you feel trapped? What would hold you back from receiving Jesus’ liberation today, from obeying Jesus and breaking free?