In the Chrysalis — Bound by Despair

by admin on April 10, 2014

Trapped man

IN THE CHRYSALIS

BOUND BY DESPAIR

Written by Suzanne Makshanoff

© Suzanne Makshanoff [2014]1

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What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly.   ~Richard Bach

Bound by our circumstances can certainly feel like a curse. During my infertility, I was bound by my despair. Depressed, I often didn’t want to go anywhere. If I did, I might be required to laugh – to enjoy life. I was not in the mood for that!

During my cancer treatments, I was confined at home for a year and bound by my fear of death. Unable to move. Unable to mom. Unable to live life.

But, in a strange way, there was freedom in my bondage. All the things in life that I was responsible for were released from my charge: job, children, household, husband (what wife doesn’t think she’s in charge of hubby!). My focus became singular: survival. And I knew that my survival was in the hands of God. My relationship with God became the most important task in my life. My curse became my blessing.

I now view the words “curse” and “bless” differently. I used to think being blessed meant having good things happen in life. And it still can mean that. But the word blessed holds a simpler, yet deeper, meaning to me. To be cursed is to be separated from God. To be blessed is to be brought back into the presence of God. Christ did that for me. I just needed to feel it, know it, live it, love it.

With respect to being bound, Isaiah, prophesying about Christ’s salvation, states the following about Christ freeing mankind from bondage.

He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, …to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve —to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor. — Isaiah 61:1-3

In Nazareth, Christ opened the scrolls in the temple to read, and stated that He was the fulfillment of this Scripture. Christ is the one who breaks us free from the things that bind us. Christ is the one who broke me free of my chrysalis of despair.

Like a caterpillar, my chrysalis was a time of immense change. And along with Change usually comes its friend Fear. But these changes ultimately brought me closer to God. Reliant on God. Seeing God. Submitting to God. Releasing to God. Loving God.

Like a butterfly, we need to trust that He is a good God with a good future for us. Let God captivate you. Let’s face it, if we were fully secured to God, our despair would repair. Tether your rope to Him.

Don’t be bound, instead abound. “For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.” – 2 Corinthians 1:5

Abraham Lincoln expressed well the things we should and should not be bound to:

I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live by the light that I have. I must stand with anybody that stands right, and stand with him while he is right, and part with him when he goes wrong. – Abraham Lincoln (BrainyQuote.com)

Take time to consider things that bind you: both the bad and good things. Now ask God for help with anything that binds you from that which you wish to be set free.

Dear Lord, please repair my despair. You alone give me hope. Thank you for your comfort in dark places where fear grows thick.  Shine Your light into my soul and help me abound with Your Spirit. I want to become a planting for the display of Your splendor.  No longer do I want my roots bound. Water me, Lord. I want to grow.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

To Consider:

The terms bound and freedom can mean so many things. Read the following poem by John F. MacArthur, Jr. and ponder the use of these words. Compare the first half of the poem to the second half. What do you think freedom and captivity look like in both halves? The world says being free to sin is a good thing. Do you agree? The world says being captive by God’s rules is a bad thing. Do you agree?

“Once I was free in the shackles of sin:
Free to be tempted, just bound to give in;
Free to be captive to any desire;
Free to eternally burn in hell’s fire.

‘Til Someone bought me and called me His slave:
Bound by commands I am free to obey;
Captive by beauty I’m free to adore–
Sentenced to sit at His feet evermore.”
John F. MacArthur Jr. (Goodreads.com)

Transforming Verses:
Read and reflect on Romans 7:4-6:

So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God. For when we were in the realm of the flesh, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in us, so that we bore fruit for death. But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code. Romans 7:4-6

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1 © Suzanne Makshanoff [2014]. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Suzanne Makshanoff and A Butterfly’s Testimony with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

{ 2 comments }

Patricia Efseaff April 11, 2014 at 12:19 am

Where did you learn to write so beautifully. You are truly blessed by God.
Love you, Mom

admin April 11, 2014 at 3:35 am

Well, mom, as you know I was a math major. I liked math classes because I didn’t like reading and writing. Ha! The irony. It is a clear example that God calls us to do things that are out of our nature–our comfort zone. He does this so that all, even our moms who love us most, are baffled and say “It MUST be God!” Yes, God is truly blessing me every day. I love you! Suzanne

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