Skip to content

The Greatest Escape

July 25, 2013

The 1963 movie The Great Escape dramatizes one of two escapes from the POW camp Stalag Luft III in what is now Poland. This camp was designed by the German high command to be impossible to escape from secondary to not only its’ distance from the Allied lines, but the soil making tunneling extremely unlikely. What those who designed the camp did not take into account was the incredible desire to be free of the men who were placed there and their creativity in planning and executing their escape. No, in both escape attempts, including the one pictured in The Great Escape, a total of six men eventually reached Allied lines with over 50 of those re-captured executed by the Gestapo.
For as long as man has imprisoned others, there have been escape attempts with varying results. There is something inside of us that will seek escape from any sort of imprisonment, sadly many choose a form of escape that is self-destructive through various chemicals (thereby exchanging one prison for another), but however the attempt at being free from whatever prison we are in, mankind yearns to be free.

There is a story of one escape that was impossible for the prisoner to perform by himself; Peter had been arrested by Herod and placed inside a prison in the care of four squads of guards, even being chained to two of those guards. Inside of two gates (each no doubt attended by guards) with two guards next to him watching him, how could any person hope to escape? The events resulting in his escape from Herod’s prison are almost impossible to believe; even those gathered at one home to pray for his release did not think it would happen because when he arrived there after being set free by the angel, they initially thought it was his ghost! Think of that; we are often hard on ourselves for not believing what we pray for and here is an example (Acts 12:15) of how those in the early church had the same struggle. We pray for something not really expecting it to happen; when on those occasions when God answers the prayer with a resounding “Yes!,” we are astounded.

Peter’s being released from prison is an example of a miraculous escape, but no less miraculous than the power of God touching a life such as mine and beginning the process of transforming a self-centered, egotistical, arrogant man into a servant-hearted disciple. The process continues, which is why my favorite verse is Philippians 1:6,
“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”

Being released from a physical prison is exhilarating, but often those of us so released find that society continues to encase us in invisible bars that prevent us from finding meaningful work or even a place to live. But others are there who believe in second chances and they can believe in us when others won’t (even when we cannot). Some of those along the way have been an incredible help, others not so much, but the road before me seems more promising with each wall God enables me to scale. With the help of God, my beloved wife and friends, my journey will continue until the day when I’m Home. I’ve discovered, as Michael Card sings about, that there is Joy in the Journey:
There is a joy in the journey
There’s a light we can love on the way
There is a wonder and wildness to life
And freedom for those who obey
And all those who seek it shall find it
A pardon for all who believe
Hope for the hopeless and sight for the blind
To all who’ve been born in the Spirit
And who share incarnation with Him
Who belong to eternity stranded in time
And weary of struggling with sin
Forget not the hope that’s before you
And never stop counting the cost
Remember the hopelessness when you were lost
There is a joy in the journey
There’s a light we can love on the way
There is a wonder and wildness to life
And freedom for those who obey
And freedom for those who obey…

From → Uncategorized

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: