Over the past year we have all gotten used to the term “restrictions”.

 

We have restrictions on how many people are allowed in our house, how many can be in a store, how far apart we have to be to sit in a restaurant and the gathering size for funerals, weddings and church. We have grudgingly donned face masks whenever we go out in public, slathered gallons of sanitizer on our hands and huddled around our televisions to listen to whether “restrictions” will be eased or intensified. Things that we used to do without a second thought, like going to a movie, having friends over for supper and visiting grandchildren now take on a whole new dynamic as we consider what “restrictions” are in place.

 

I think it is safe to say, we are all just about over it!

 

Imagine how the people of Israel felt when, for their entire life they tried to obey all 10 commandments and 613 laws not to mention the volumes of commentaries and explanations of those laws! The religion of Israel which attempted to bring people to God had them so tied up in knots they didn’t know up from down. Jesus said "And you experts in the law, woe to you, because you load people down with burdens they can hardly carry, and you yourselves will not lift one finger to help them.” During his ministry Jesus often criticized the religious leaders and experts in the law for trying to box God into such a small little package that no one could ever really have a relationship with Him but to the masses he said “Come to me you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls for my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).

 

Its no wonder that the early church had such a ready audience to the message of uncomplicated faith filled with freedom and grace. The very idea that God was accessible must have tantalized those who had tried so unsuccessfully to find Him through strict obedience to the Law. How liberating it must have been to know that the sacrifice for sin had been paid once and for all. How uplifting and encouraging it was to know at any moment of any day anyone can simply say “Lord” and the God of the universe would always be there and listen to every prayer.

 

In our world of “restrictions” where we can’t simply do what we want to do may we remember that we continue to have unrestricted access to the Creator of all there is. We can still simply say “Lord” and have the attention of God Almighty and a simple expression of faith in Jesus grants us access to the throne room of heaven.

 

Restrictions? What restrictions?

 

Blessings

 

Mike Hoeft
Major
Area Commander Prairie West/ Emergency and Disaster Services Director
Prairie Division