Jesus is Not a Ball & Chain

Rachael_M_Colby_Tattoo_it_on_Your_Heart_Get_HappyDear Jay,    

Once upon a time, a long time ago, in a land far away, (really), I felt like you speak of in your brave and honest prize winning essay, “Jump.” I achieved what I set out to do, and the dreams I hadn’t yet attained were within reach. I eloped at eighteen years old. Most people skip town; I skipped the country. I had a houseful of new furniture, a 1965 Mustang, a modeling career underway and my eyes set on Europe. But I awoke many nights feeling weighted down, and like the wind could blow straight through me. Frustration and confusion badgered me, for in spite of all the things I filled my life with, I felt hollow. I wondered,  what is missing, why is happy so elusive?

Then I looked on all the works that my hands had done And on the labor in which I had toiled; And indeed all was vanity and grasping for the wind. There was no profit under the sun.   Ecclesiastes‬ ‭2:11‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Therefore I hated life because the work that was done under the sun was distressing to me, for all is vanity and grasping for the wind.   ‭‭Ecclesiastes‬ ‭2:17‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Then I lost everything.

Then Everything I was looking for found me, and I wasn’t empty anymore.

This is what I discovered:

Everything the world has to offer – Jesus = 0

He who loves silver will not be satisfied with silver; Nor he who loves abundance, with increase. This also is vanity.   ‭‭Ecclesiastes‬ ‭5:10‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

“For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost?”   Luke‬ ‭9:25‬ ‭NKJV

Nothing + a relationship with Jesus = Everything I need.  

I am not perfect. Life is often fraught with trials. But Jesus is my firm foundation, a rock to stand on. He is my reference in the stormy seas of life, a safe harbor, my anchor.

Jesus is Not a Ball and Chain

Jesus is not a religious obligation to me; although I am obliged to Him. Knowing and spending time with Him is not a chore or another thing on my to do list. Serving Him, serving others is a privilege. His Word, His standards, are not cumbersome or chafing. I don’t view them as a bunch of rules of do’s and don’ts. Jesus is not a Kill Joy; but knowing Him will bring you joy. Certainly, God requires us to adhere to the standards set forth in His Word, or we will bear the natural consequences. But I know that what He has set in place is out of love and for our benefit. He is our creator and knows how we run best, and it’s in that light in which He has established His Word for us to live by. Jesus is not a ball and chain. He is my shelter.

You see, the burden is light when you are in love with Christ.

When we are lost

He is The Way

When we are broken

He is the restorer

For the sick in mind, body or soul

He is the healer

He is the light in the darkness

He is joy in the midst of sorrow

A clear sounding voice in the midst of confusion and turmoil

He is peace in the storm

He makes a way when there is none            Rachael_M_Colby_Tattoo_it_on_Your_Heart_Pursuing_Satisfaction

When we are empty

He is our true fulfillment

We are complete in Him.

If we miss God, we miss our purpose. Life without purpose is unfulfilling.  God gifts us with different talents and abilities, and has a plan for each of us. But he created us for the purpose of having a personal relationship with Him. I want all of Jesus and I want Him to have all of me. I want His plan for my life.

You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.”   ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭139:13-16‬ ‭NLT‬

But we can’t say “I’ll have just a little Jesus on the side and I will run the rest of the show.” Life doesn’t work very well like that, and Jesus doesn’t work like that. It’s all or nothing. He will play second fiddle to no one, or anything in our lives. He wants to be our first love. Jesus calls you to Himself, just as you are.Yes, Jesus wants your worst.But He loves you too much to leave you that way.

Jesus said, “… I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”  ‭‭John‬ ‭10:10‬ ‭NKJV

“You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”  ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭16:11‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”   ‭‭John‬ ‭14:27‬ ‭NKJV‬‬ 

You can know Him.  You can cast your cares, your sin, yourself, on Him. 

“For I know the thoughts that I think towards you, says the lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11

“I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.”   ‭‭John‬ ‭10:9‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

© 2016 Rachael M Colby | Tattoo It On Your Heart

Author: Rachael M. Colby

Born and raised in Jamaica, award-winning writer Rachael M. Colby resides in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Wife, mom, beach bum, artist, work in progress, avid Tweeter—#HealthyFaithChat leader, Rachael writes to glorify God, encourage believers, and reach the lost. She connects culture’s questions with Christianity’s answers, inspires faith, and motivates through articles, devotions, poetry, and interviews. She has a heart for racial reconciliation and to uplift those who serve in tough places. Her work has appeared on Southern Ohio Christian Voice, Inkspirations Online, the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference Blog, in the compilation books Creative Writing Journal: Faith Inspired Writing Prompts & Hope-Filled Poetry, The Courage to Write: 62 devotions to Encourage your Writing Journey, and Defining Moments: Memorable and Inspiring Stories from Outstanding Leaders, Chicken Soup for the Soul: Well That Was Funny, and in the Oak Ridger newspaper. She runs on copious amounts of coffee and chocolate and a whole lot of "Help me, Jesus." Her WIPS include a compilation of her family’s and others’ stories of their work as civil rights activists (adult and children’s books), and a devotional for writers. You can connect with Rachael on her website,—a place for seekers, followers, and writers, and on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

7 thoughts on “Jesus is Not a Ball & Chain”

  1. Rachael, I love your quote at the very beginning. I’ve thought similar thoughts but not in those words. Thank you for sharing a piece of your heart.


    1. Jay,
      I’m ecstatic you stopped by! Thank you, and you are welcome. I couldn’t not write you this letter. Soon I will be posting a piece that picks up where this one left off. I’m hoping you will come by again. Praying for you. 🙂


  2. Dear Rachael,

    This speaks to my life greatly. Keep up the work God has put before you to do because you are touching others for Him!


    1. Rachael, this is so much wisdom here. Thanks for sharing. I also shared it with my twitter followers.


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