Our five children have been richly blessed with grandparents who love and follow Jesus, which is a rare and precious gift. Both sets of grandparents uprooted and moved to Georgia over ten years ago to live near their grandchildren, one from Florida and two years later the other set of grandparents made their way from Texas. And so began our new normal, with grandparents at all the kids’ special events, from piano recitals to swim meets, and every holiday.
So the night the Lord called Grandpa Bachtel home, it was a devastating and tragic event for everyone, but especially for our children. Grandpa and Grandma Bachtel lived only four miles from our house, and that very night we took Grandma into our home to live with us for awhile.
To this day, I can’t drive by their old house without my eyes filling up with tears, and it was this very week as I chose to take another route home (just so I could see their old house again) that I received a glimpse of freedom. As I imagined Grandpa Bachtel in heaven, where there’s no more sin, no more pain, and no more suffering, I realized this is what it means to be truly free.
But that freedom came at a great cost, the precious life of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Freedom is costly. Even as believers, Jesus calls us to deny ourselves daily, take up our crosses, and follow Him. Freedom is also meant to be cherished and not taken for granted. Paul warns us in Galatians not to turn our freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.
Our pastor shared something powerful in his sermon on Sunday as I was completing my week on pondering the word freedom. He said, “Freedom is the capability of being who God has always destined you to be.” Reflecting on this thought-provoking statement, I realized that God’s destiny for our lives is present and future. The Lord has given us life, both abundant and eternal, through His Spirit, and it is by that same Spirit we are empowered to walk on this earth just as Jesus did over two thousand years ago, pleasing and glorifying to the Father.
As I seek to keep my eyes on the Lord and walk in the Spirit, I know there will be days that I will mess up. But praise be to God, His grace is always there to cleanse, heal, and sustain me. May I learn to appreciate more every day the undeserving gift of His overwhelming grace that came at a high cost so that I can partake of His freedom now and into eternity.
He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Revelation 21:6 NIV
I may never fully grasp this side of glory what it means to walk in true freedom. For as long as I am in this earthly body, there will still be battles to fight, whether it’s temptation, sickness, disappointment, or trials; but the battle is the Lord’s. Therefore, I can rest in His faithfulness to keep me on the path that He has destined for my life. I am able to anticipate with joy what each new day may bring.
One glorious day, I will behold Him face to face and drink from the spring of the water of life without cost (Revelation 22:4, 21: 6). This is my greatest hope and anticipation, to be truly free!
~ Meet Laura Bachtel ~
Laura Bachtel and her husband Bryan have been married for nearly twenty-eight years. They are the proud parents of five amazing children, from age twenty-four down to sixteen. Laura homeschooled all five of her children during their elementary years and then sent them to Artios Academies in Gwinnett for the remaining years. She now teaches high school English at Artios and loves sharing with her students her passion for writing and great literature. Some of her favorite hobbies include finding new ways to make healthy food taste really yummy, traveling to new places with her family, and enjoying a savory cup of coffee and dark chocolate while reading a good book. Laura's children are in age order as follows: Sara, 24; Alicia, 22; Maryellen, 20; Caleb, 18; and Josh, 16