The Trap of Confusion

Squirrels have made our back yard their domain. They happily steal apples and peaches only to drop them unceremoniously and uneaten on the ground a few feet from the tree; they bite my figs to see if they’re ripe; they conduct reconnaissance up and down our pecan trees in anticipation of feasting on the nuts in the Fall. So, my husband placed several catch-and-release traps along the fence, where they scamper to and fro along the top.

One morning he discovered that a young possum had become imprisoned in one of the traps; it was visibly in full panic mode. Clyde (my husband) opened the trap door and tried to help the poor creature escape, but the possum was too agitated. The only option was to leave it alone until it could calm down and find its own way out.

I observed from the living room window the antics of the possum until finally he (probably by accident) escaped through the doorway of the cage. The possum ran full blast out into freedom where in his confusion, he circled wildly until he ran directly into another trap! Immediately Galatians 5:1 came to my mind, “It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.” (NAS)

The possum’s predicament illustrated how we can find freedom (or be set free from a besetting sin) only to fall into another “trap” if we do not remain sober and watchful in our new-found liberty. Paul cautioned that believers are to stand resolutely on the truth of God’s word so that we are not lured into yet another bondage, or even back to the same sin which had formerly imprisoned us. Instead of the yoke of slavery to sin, my prayer is for each one of us to enjoy true freedom under the yoke of Christ, where we can find rest for our souls (Mt. 11:28-29).

This passage in Matthew states, Come to Me all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls.” When a person comes under Jesus’ yoke, she turns control of her life over to Him, in humble submission to His will- ready to be trained in His ways. Rest for our souls is not freedom from moral conscience, but from a burdened, condemned heart. He was a carpenter- His yoke provides grace, strength, and guidance- it will fit well!