I turned off my night light and glimpsed over to see a small illumination from this compass. Even in the apparent darkness, God is lighting my path.
A few months ago I attended this fundraiser for a local nonprofit. I had no clue that it was a fundraiser, I actually only went to support a church member’s dancing troupe, but once there, I could feel God’s Spirit in that vast church hall. As a party favor, we were given these compasses and as soon as I got home, I placed the compass on my night stand… which also doubles as my prayer table. I placed it there in no real manner, just wanting the words of the attached card to be visible to my eye. However, sometime in January God spoke to my heart and said, “the compass actually works and should lead you to Me.” If you are not familiar with the purpose of a compass, let me stop here to tell you this- it tells you direction.
During slavery, enslaved people dreamed of travelling north, out of the slave-controlled South, into the freedom of the North. North of the Mason-Dixon line meant freedom for Blacks and a life that only found people in their sleep. Songs were created to instruct Blacks to follow the North Star (as found by the Big Dipper) towards freedom. It is said that an astounding 100,000 enslaved people escaped to freedom by travelling towards the freedom of the North by way of the North Star.
Beloved, the way North is freedom.
As I laid in my bed Friday night, I performed my normal routine- say my prayers, scroll through Facebook for one more good laugh, check my messages, turn off my table light, and prepare to roll over- but right before I could roll over, I noticed the slightest illumination coming from my compass. Wait, God, is that light pointing North? You can’t see it in the picture but the dial that was hovering over the N was lit! In an instant my heart fluttered and I could only rejoice- my freedom was here.
This week in the teen bible study that I co-facilitate we have been talking about freedom in Christ. Specifically, the book is talking about our identity in Christ and we began by talking about who God created us to be, how sin changed that, but then how Christ came to set us free from the death that would have found us in our sin. The lessons are so rich and I pray that the youth are really receiving the truths that God is revealing (will you join me in that prayer?). Yet, personally, when I saw that illuminating dial I couldn’t help but think about all of the things that had kept me in bondage the past few weeks…
Cruel/Harsh speech and thoughts
… just to name a few…
Each one had held my mind or body captive for more days than I would have liked during the past few weeks, with one chain deathly linking me to another. For every attempt to break free on my own, another link formed, holding me in bondage a little bit longer.
But the way North is liberty.
As I looked at that now-lit compass, my heart remembered John’s words:
So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.John 8:36
Here’s the funny thing. In Genesis we read about how God created the heavens and the earth. We read about how He placed the stars in the sky and gave each one its form. Which means that we read about how God created, formed, and placed the North Star, too, right? Right! Centuries ago God created, formed, placed the star that many would look to in order to find their freedom. Read that again. God created the Star that many would look to in order to find their freedom. To indentured servants, the North Star was their guiding light towards freedom and a self-obtained end to slavery. To me, that illuminating light over the North position on the compass was my guiding light towards freedom and a God-given end to sin’s hold over me.
The way North is Christ.
No matter where you reside on this enormous planet called Earth, North will always be straight up. It will always be a sign of freedom and a beacon light leading many to their home. Beloved, if you haven’t experienced this freedom as of yet, if you are still wandering in the cold, dark forest alone with no guiding Light, just look up and follow the illuminating North Star.
Sweet friend, just follow the way North.