Today’s Scripture: For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. Galatians 5:13

A restless dog spotted a squirrel anxiously scampering about near a tree. Without a moment’s hesitation, he leaped to his feet and began in hot pursuit. He was gaining on the poor squirrel and was about to take him captive when he suddenly froze in his tracks. The tough rope around his neck tightened, and he could advance no further, for he had been tied to a tree.

Have you ever felt like your dreams and aspirations were abruptly cut short or redirected by some restraining influence—family, church, or even Scriptural truth? It just doesn’t seem fair, does it? It may sound odd to you, but the very restraints that seemingly limit our freedom are protecting it. Let me explain.

When you prepare to fly anywhere, you must endure long lines and heightened security, among other hassles, before you are permitted to step onto the plane. But the “intrusions” of your freedom ensure a hazard-free environment on your flight.

Likewise, the God-ordained “restraints” in our lives serve to maximize the enjoyment we experience in life. They protect us from unseen dangers which line our paths. The “canopy of limitation” is actually a “safety zone” where we can most enjoy our freedom.

Are you struggling with an insubordinate spirit? Do restrictions get on your nerves? Don’t gnaw at your leash! Rather, consider its purpose in making your life better—and be thankful.

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder