Topic:Free from Frostbite
Bible in a Year:
Exodus 14–15; Matthew 17
Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight.
On a winter day, my children begged to go sledding. The temperature hovered near zero degrees Fahrenheit. Snowflakes raced by our windows. I thought it over and said yes, but asked them to bundle up, stay together, and come inside after fifteen minutes.
Out of love, I created those rules so my children could play freely without suffering frostbite. I think the author of Psalm 119 recognized the same good intent in God as he penned two consecutive verses that might seem contradictory: “I will always obey your law” and “I will walk about in freedom, for I have sought out your precepts” (vv. 44–45). How is it that the psalmist associated freedom with a spiritually law-abiding life?
Following God’s wise instruction allows us to escape the consequences that come from choices we later wish we could undo. Without the weight of guilt or pain we are freer to enjoy our lives. God doesn’t want to control us with dos and don’ts; rather, His guidelines show that He loves us.
While my kids were sledding, I watched them blast down the hill. I smiled at the sound of their laughter and the sight of their pink cheeks. They were free within the boundaries I’d given them. This compelling paradox is present in our relationship with God—it leads us to say with the psalmist, “Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight” (v. 35).