2 Corinthians 3:17 – Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. (KJV)
Psalm 2:3 – Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. (KJV)
While clearing out my father-in-law's home following his death, we came upon a set of six old tire chains — four for the tires plus two spares, for sometimes something might snap and an extra one would be needed. They were an intricate design of heavy chains hooked together horizontally and vertically, the size of a tire, with a leather strap to fasten them shut.
I was reminded of my childhood days in our old International Harvester pickup, when my dad would drive until just before the snow deepened, or maybe just before a mudhole, stop, get out, lay the chains on the ground behind the tires, get back in the pickup, back up until the tires were positioned in the middle of the chains, get out and bring the chains from the front and back of each tire to meet at the top to be fastened together. One of us usually had the honour of telling him exactly when to stop, and then helping by holding one end of the chain while he met it with the other. These chains saved us from many an otherwise agonizing snowbound or muddy situation.
In cases when the chains hadn't been put on in time and we did get stuck, the chains could also be hooked from one vehicle to another to help in pulling our pickup out of the rut.
Another chain from our childhood was the chain letter, which had the ability to send a chill of fear through our veins, lest something terrible happen to us if we didn't pass it on to x number of people within x number of days.
With the advent of computers, the chain-letter time has been shortened to hours instead of days, putting forth more pressure of a possible threat. For some reason, some of us, no matter how well meaning, think that because a chain letter deals with the health and welfare of children or animals, or especially because it is of a religious nature, it isn't chain mail at all.
We experience many types of chains in our lives: physical, emotional, spiritual, and psychological — each of which may be used in a beneficial or detrimental manner. May we always make sure the chains we offer someone are helpful and of the best intentions.
Prayer: Lord, lead us to freedom from all our burdensome chains. Help us not to make people feel burdened by anything we say to them, do to them, or ask of them. May the only chain we have in our life be our direct link to you. In your name we pray. Amen.