03 Jan A Theme For the New Year: On Romans and Release
If I am being honest, I didn’t want to write this today. In the face of a new year, I have been praying for weeks now for a theme to carve out for the next 365 days. Instead, all I could think about is how I struggle nonstop with feeling crushingly inadequate as a parent. I’m tired, ya’ll, and I don’t’ want to start a new year that way. Probably shouldn’t start a blog post that way, either, now that I think about it.
But you know what? I was convicted tonight, sitting in the heated seats of my minivan (can I get an Amen, it’s 6˚F here!!), praying again for a few quiet moments tucked in between Tai Kwan Do classes and homework and dinner and dishes. Convicted, because in my sorrow and self-pity, I was ignoring the truth of a gospel that delivers us long after it saves us, again, and again, and again.
- to set free from restraint, confinement, or servitude, also: to let go.
- to relieve from something that confines, burdens, or oppresses
- to give up in favor of another
I am set free, and not from my responsibility to shepherd my babes, no, but from the worry, yes, the expectations I set for myself, the idols I’ve constructed in the comfort of my heated seats, and the value I’ve ascribed to the things of the world that are comprised solely of dust and straw.
Release and Romans
Woven in and out of these definitions of release is the gospel, the gospel in Romans, the sanctification that comes again and again after the salvation.
For the law of the Spirit of life has set you[ free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. (Romans 8:2).
We are set free, let go from the law of sin and death …
For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” (Romans 8:15).
and in the same moment, we are relieved from our burden, no longer a slave to fear, worry, and failure.
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. (Galations 5:1).
My slavery, my burden in this instance, is the tight clutch I have on the reins of this parenting gig. And I am steering us kind of all over the place with my death grip. But when I give up the reins in favor of the gospel, when I stand firm in my faith, my identity as a daughter of Abba Father, when I release … then I am relieved. It is a daily setting down, this sanctification, a moment where I choose the gospel, and grace chooses me. A carving out these next 365 days, and hopefully all the ones after.
My prayer for you, friends, is that you would be able to release what burdens you, to find freedom in the gospel, to be relieved.
I’ll leave you with this, the end of Romans 8.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? … No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:35-38.)
So my theme for 2018 is release. What’s yours?