Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.  2Cor 3:17

There is an old story worth repeating because it’s so simple, yet profoundly true.  If you don’t mind, I’d like to paraphrase the story a bit, but keep the same direct message.  May it shed light and bring us an additional charge needed for our coming week.   Here goes….

There are two prisoners – sharing the same small cell.  It’s an old fashion jail, with no light except what came through a tiny window about three feet above their eye level.  One of them saw the bars – the obvious ugly, metal reminders of reality.  From day to day he grew increasingly discouraged, bitter, angry and hopeless.  By contrast, the other inmate looked through the window to the stars beyond.  Hope welled up in that prisoner as he began to think of the possibility of starting a new life in freedom.

The prisoners were looking at the same window, but one saw bars while the other saw stars.  One saw punishment and judgment, while the other saw the mercy of a second chance.  The difference in their vision made a huge difference in their attitude and will to persevere.

Unfortunately, some folks who read this message will be literally locked up and serving time as inmates. Others, though free and “living on the outside”, will be locked-up and serving time, in overwhelming challenges and incarcerating circumstances.  Fortunately, for all of us, we can make a choice to change and grow.  Whoever and wherever we may be, let’s make a conscious decision today that we will look beyond the dark despair of our problems and challenges to The Star of hopeful solutions.

Let’s call upon the One the Bible notes as Light Himself; the Creator of all, the Liberator of our sins, the Lover of our soul, and the eternal Rewarder from above:

Dear Heavenly Father,

Please fill our life, our circumstances, and our hearts in particular with Your purpose, Your vision, Your strength, Your hope, Your cheer and Your love. Help us to walk in courageous obedience to Your will through the power of Your Holy Spirit. We thank You, and in Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

 Prov 13:12; Rom 15:13; Rom 8:28; 1 Thes 5:18