In December 2019, my husband and I adopted Bundles from CadenceK9. Bundles is a nine-year old, male dog who has spent six years of his life in and out of animal shelters, animal foster homes, and even the University of Florida School of Veterinary Medicine for cancer and a hip problem. He was considered an older, hard to adopt, dog. Not to mention, he is a Pitbull. Many people have an instant fear of this breed of dog. But when I saw his picture on the CadenceK9 website, I saw a beautiful dog who just needed love and acceptance.
I contacted CadenceK9 in October 2019 and told them I wanted to meet Bundles and potentially adopt him. They tried to talk me out of it, at first. They told me about his history and gave me a 14 page social-emotional, medical assessment describing his fitness for adoption. They told me that we would need to go through 8 weeks of one-on-one, dog training with their lead trainer. They told me we would have to submit to a home visit and we would have to learn how to take of his medical needs. I said, “Ok! I want to meet him. I want to adopt him! I’ll do whatever it takes to be approved to adopt Bundles.”
Bundles’ adoption was a transaction. We completed all of the necessary steps required by CadenceK9 the week before Christmas 2019. When they dropped him off at our house, I believe Bundles recognized that his life in kennels was over. But our journey to build a relationship with him was just beginning.
In an abstract way, I believe finding our freedom in Jesus is similar. Jesus provided us with salvation – redemption from our sins – through the transaction of his death, burial, and resurrection. He knew all about us, yet He loved us. But we really didn’t know him. He gave us a brand, new life, plus an eternal life. But at the time when we said “YES” to Jesus, we didn’t completely understand what it all meant.
So, after salvation, how can we truly find freedom in Jesus?
For me, finding freedom in Jesus involves entering into a lifelong, loving relationship with Him that happens daily. Unlike the transaction of salvation, freedom unfolds as I understand – through daily relationship – the unconditional love and acceptance Jesus has for me, just the way I am. Finding freedom involves embracing the love God has had in store for me all along.
If you want to embrace this freedom, I suggest you begin by:
1. Pausing every day to acknowledge the presence of God with you,
2. Having an open, honest dialogue with Jesus about your concerns and any perceived roadblocks to developing a close relationship with Him, and
3. Being willing to set aside people, habits, and routines that prevent you from spending some quiet time every day with Jesus.
4. Spending some time reading what Jesus said and how he interacted with people by reading the story of His life in first four books of the New Testament (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John). Consider joining a Connect Group that focuses on reading the Bible.
Finding freedom in Jesus doesn’t happen overnight. It is not a one-time transaction. Take the time to build a personal relationship with Jesus. Embrace the freedom in Jesus that is already yours.
“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” ~ John 8:36 NIV