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Joy and Freedom

Former Iranian hostage Barry Rosen touched down on an American tarmac 30 years ago and spilled into the arms of a wife and two young children lost to him during 444 days of captivity. —Michael Hill, AP

There’s just something about seeing someone set free that lights me up. I mean, when a person has been held hostage for much too long, the whole body has a language it speaks when it realizes freedom has come.

As the absence of captors and walls sinks in, the one set free spills into the arms of those waiting. Tears of gratitude flow. Emotion comes as both laughter and sobs. As the moments of captivity fall behind and only freedom exists—both now and in the future—the truth comes that nothing can take this freedom away. It’s been given; it’s finally here. I love seeing those scenes in the news because it’s a powerful reminder of what Jesus has done for our souls:

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. (Galatians 5:1)

There is a certain joy that comes from freedom and that joy is anything but silent. As the embrace loosens, the chatter begins. This joy fills our emotions to overflowing—we can’t contain our praise. This joy writes the story upon our lips, and we can’t silence it—it becomes the music of our life.

And we must dance. Because we are free.

We join in the song and the dance of the Israelites who, after generations of slavery, erupted into celebration.

He brought out his people with rejoicing, his chosen ones with shouts of joy. (Psalm 105:43)

We have nothing left to do with that freedom except proclaim it and live it, enjoy it, and share it.

Lord, my joy is a gift unwrapped in the presence of freedom—I cannot contain it! It stretches my body to the limits of praise. My arms in the air—unshackled and with praise—and my feet moving in step to the rhythm of freedom. The unscripted life of freedom. Lead me in a dance of joy that never ends. Amen.

Step away from the rigidness of religion and dance instead—listen to Pete’s audio series Dance Lessons!

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