The Trapped! booklet

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“Trapped! I'm trapped inside my own body!” I murmured to my reflection in the pool of water. Frustrated and angry, I kicked a rock and hurt my toe... so I stuck to wreaking havoc on piles of autumn leaves. After exhausting myself I walked home; and once inside, I headed for a large mirror to have a talk with my body. I wanted to see it when I talked to it.

I sat on the floor in front of the long mirror and stared at myself. “You aren't really ‘me’,” I said to the body reflected in the mirror, “‘me’ lives inside you.”

For the first time in my life, I was acutely aware of the division between body and soul; and I was overwhelmed with the realization I had done much to abuse this precious place in which I live. My body was my responsibility. All the addictions and the cravings it demanded were a result of my own decisions. It was as if my body started out as my servant, but then became my master.

Now it is my taskmaster, my jailer... I am its prisoner. A fire of destruction rages, and I am trapped behind bars. My body is dying and I must die too. There is no place to go to get away from the reality of this ultimate bondage!!

Are you trapped inside your body like this person? Do you want to run to a place of safety, but there is none? Are you full of turmoil and deep sorrow, confusion and hopelessness?

If your entrapment was brought upon you by your own actions, perhaps you feel guilty. Or, if you are the victim of someone else’s lack of care and consideration, maybe unforgiveness eats at you because of the unfairness of it all.

So what do you do? Simply wait to die, allowing hate, anger and sorrow to permeate what is left of your life as chains of darkness envelop you and sap your last breath?

It doesn’t have to be that way. There is hope, a place of safety and sweet freedom. It is found in Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ. He wants to be your deliverer. In Jesus is life.

A sentence of death upon our physical body does to our soul what clipping a bird’s wings and putting it into a cage does to the bird. The bird longs for freedom to fly again. The essential nature of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is so liberating that once you embrace it, your soul is released to “fly again”.

Turn to Jesus, and the Spirit of God will release your soul from the bondage of darkness. Then, no matter what happens to your physical life... you will not experience death.

If you are trapped in your body because you lived an unholy life and are now reaping the consequences, what can you expect from the Gospel of Jesus Christ? Forgiveness for the actions that brought you to this place, healing of your soul, and deliverance from your infirmity. Ask God to forgive you, forgive yourself and make the decision to spend the rest of your physical life developing a personal, intimate relationship with Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ. Learn of God’s ways through His Word, the Bible, and develop your spiritual life through the help of the Holy Spirit.

The consequences of intimacy with God may indeed be long physical life, complete restoration and wholeness in body, because health is a provision of the Gospel. On the other hand, physical healing may not come. While long life is the norm, scripture does make room for exceptions.1 Your job is to trust in the Father with all your heart and soul that He will complete in you His pleasure.

Seek to conform to the nature of Jesus. Put on these personality traits of the Spirit of God... mercy, kindness, humility, meekness, patience, forgiveness, love, joy, gentleness and peace. As the character of Jesus flows through you, the Holy Spirit will move in your behalf. Perhaps your health will spring forth... but if it doesn’t, it won’t matter to you whether you stay or go... because either way, you live.

Are you trapped because of the action of others? Then you must forgive them. You have no choice. You must forgive even as you are forgiven, in order to remove all bitterness from your heart! You will never be free as long as animosity is in your heart.

A personal note from the writer.

This writer, as this tract is being written (1992), stands in the position of one whose life is in the balance because of the action or lack of action of others. I know personally the anguish of entrapment. But I also know personally the freedom available in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Emotional pain is very real. Deep sorrow and turmoil permeated my life because of a deformity in my body. When I was 16 years old, I ran to Jesus so that I could cope with life. He filled me with His love and joy in the midst of my sorrow, as I waited upon Him to bring restoration to my body.

And then one day, 23 years later, He did something I did not know He could do... He healed me of the deformity on the inside. I felt like a caged bird being set free to fly again. The physical deformity was still there, but the sorrow and turmoil no longer permeated my soul. I was free of a bondage worse than physical bondage.

As I write this (1992), I’ve been advised I have but a short time left to live in my body. At the same time a surgeon has “arrived at my doorstep” with the ability to release my body from its physical bondage. From a medical standpoint, I will die if I do not have the surgery; yet the doctors are concerned that if I do have it, I may die “on the table” during surgery because of complications arising from the deformity.

How do I handle this situation? God says in Psalm 34:19... “Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivers him out of them all.” I believe my God will deliver me.

I have developed an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. I know Him. The Apostle Paul said... “I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:20,21 NIV).

One way or the other, I will be delivered from my affliction. Either way “I” live. I believe I will be granted physical life. But if not, I gain ultimate freedom... being unhindered by my flesh as I go to be with my Lord Jesus Christ.

I have lived with an acute awareness of this affliction in my body for twenty-five years. Now the doctors say it is about to take my life, yet there is no fear in my heart, no sorrow... only joy and expectation. How can this be? It is because I know God. He is my strength and my fortress, and my refuge all the days of my affliction, as long as I stay in Him (John 15).

Scripture says, “He has showed you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8). I choose to meet that requirement. Consequently, I have peace in the midst of the fiery rage.

Every believer, whether afflicted with a terminal illness or in perfect health, must come to the place of having such a close relationship with Jesus Christ that it truly does not matter to them whether or not they maintain physical life. Ultimate freedom in this life is knowing that you live whether you dwell in a physical body or go to be with Jesus.2

This freedom makes us strong for battle. It equips us as nothing else can to go forward with the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit to advance the Kingdom of God. We get this freedom in life by knowing Jesus and abiding in Him, and allowing His character to flow through us.

We need to understand that each of us will experience a variety of afflictions, tribulations and persecutions in life. These things are normal and necessary to strengthen us and bring us to the place we need to be in our relationship with our Father God and Jesus.

“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed” (I Peter1:6,7 NIV).

Trapped? If not... at some point in life, each of us will find ourselves in that situation to some degree. However, though trapped in the physical realm, we can be free in our spirit and soul. Abide in Jesus, and remain free all the days of your life.

1Isaiah says, “The righteous perish, and no one ponders it in his heart; devout men are taken away, and no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil. Those who walk uprightly enter into peace; they find rest as they lie in death” (Isaiah 57:1,2 NIV). return

2“Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, while we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord (for we walk by faith, not by sight); we are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. Wherefore we labor, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of Him” (II Corinthians 5:6-9). return

© 1992 by RANAN! Publishers of Gospel Literature, a Ministry of New Life Church in Thayer, Missouri | Written by Joan M. Williams

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