Perhaps you’ve heard the story of a pony named Pearl who worked with the carnival. Shackled to a pole from a young age, she gave rides to children along a small, circular path.
Every day was the same. Pearl lived in sheer drudgery, going around and around in endless circles, without even the slightest taste of freedom.
Far in the distance, Pearl sometimes saw other horses frolicking joyfully in the meadow. What a great life that must be! she moaned, feeling sorry for herself as she continued her circular journey.
But one night a miracle happened. During a thunderstorm, a flash of lightning struck the heavy cable Pearl was tethered to, snapping it in half.
However, for a long time Pearl didn’t appreciate her good fortune. Although she no longer was shackled, she continued living just as she had done her entire life—plodding along in never-ending circles.
Many people today are still living much like Pearl the pony. They’ve been chained so long to poverty, sickness, addiction, fear, or depression that they don’t think it’s possible to escape the well-worn path before them. And while they sometimes glimpse others experiencing the abundant life Jesus promised, they’re convinced they’ll never experience such a life.
If you can relate to Pearl’s hapless story, I have good news for you. Just as a miracle had set the worn-out pony free from her captivity, the miracle of Jesus’ death and resurrection has done the same for you and me. The problem comes when, just like Pearl, we don’t recognize and accept the freedom won for us on the cross.
Do you see how tragic this is? On the cross, Jesus defeated not only our sin, but also our poverty, sickness, addiction, fear, and depression. Our shackles have been broken in two—but sometimes we continue plodding through life as if the cross and resurrection have never occurred.
Although the devil wants you to think you’re still tethered hopelessly to your problems, nothing could be further from the truth. If you’ve received Jesus as your Lord and Savior, your chains are broken. You don’t have to keep walking in circles, because you’re now “free indeed” (John 8:36).
Even if you’ve endured years of misery, you can get unshackled in a moment’s time when you realize the powerful deliverance available through the blood of Jesus. You may still be taunted by “the father of lies” (John 8:44), but everything changes when you recognize he no longer has any rights in your life.
Just as happened with Pearl the pony, it may take you some time to begin seeing yourself in a new way. But through applying God’s Word to your life each day, you can increasingly become “transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2).
In Jesus’ name, you have power over the forces of darkness, but they’re not going to give up without a fight. You must claim the authority God has given you to sever your chains and get unshackled from your negative circumstances.
I’m praying for God to awaken the mighty warrior inside of you, giving you courage to pull down strongholds in your own life. Exercise your rights as a child of the King, and don’t stop until you’ve taken back everything the enemy has stolen from you!