I never thought I’d watch a movie about a man cutting off his own arm.
But there I was, eyes glued to the screen, watching James Franco stab himself. The movie, 127 Hours, is based on the true story of a climber whose arm was trapped by a falling boulder in a 3-foot-wide canyon he was climbing. After five days of intense pain and hallucinations, he successfully amputated his own arm and stumbled to freedom.
I think about this story whenever I’m feeling trapped: by finances, an unhealthy relationship, a health issue, a new responsibility—you name it. Why? Because it taught me this: sometimes freedom looks like giving up something you thought you’d never be able to live without.
Sure, most of us won’t have to cut off our arms to find freedom. But there are other things we might give up. Maybe we let go of that dream to buy a brand-new car. Perhaps we have to step back from an unhealthy relationship. Or maybe what we give up is a long-held belief that’s hurting us more than helping us.
Letting go to Receive God’s Goodness
What are you feeling trapped by right now? Here’s what’s true: when you give up something that’s trapping you, you are making room for something greater. When you feel that tightness in your throat and the pounding in your ears that’s telling you to escape, take some time to reflect. Ask yourself: Is there something I should be giving up right now? An unrealistic dream? A failed relationship? My pride?
Then bring those questions to God. Ask him to help you navigate this awful feeling of being held back by something. You can trust that he will help guide you. To get you started, pray through these 4 verses with me:
God, thank you for being a God of goodness and freedom.
If the Son gives you freedom, you are free! — John 8:36
Lord, I’m feeling trapped right now. Help me see clearly why I’m feeling this way.
But if any of you lack wisdom, you should pray to God, who will give it to you; because God gives generously and graciously to all. — James 1:5
God, show me how to follow you in all this. Guide me down the path you want me to follow.
Teach me your ways, O Lord;
make them known to me.
Teach me to live according to your truth,
for you are my God, who saves me.
I always trust in you. — Psalm 25:4-5
Lord, I trust you. Help me to continue trusting you every day. Amen.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Never rely on what you think you know. Remember the Lord in everything you do, and he will show you the right way. — Proverbs 3:5-6
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