Though I have been oppressed, though I have fled from slavery, my Lord Jesus Christ has truly redeemed me. He has liberated me from my chains. My feet are swift and my arms are lifted high towards the heavens, for he has removed my shackles. By shackles, I mean more than metal. Jesus has removed the spiritual shackles that once bonded my flesh. Before, I thought the only way to escape was to flee. So I stole from my master and fled from his dominion. Once out of the way of imminent danger, I was able to rest. However, even out of the sight of danger and judgment I was not consoled. My spirit still groaned for something more. My soul longed for Jesus. It was not until I met my beloved brother Paul that I became truly free; free from the slavery in this world and the next. The gentle words that he prayed with me will be forever ingrained in my memory. Together, on our knees, we prayed,
‘Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven,
whose sin is covered.
Blessed is the man to whom the Lord imputes no iniquity,
and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
When I declared not my sin, my body wasted away
through my groaning all day long.
For day and night Thy hand was heavy upon me;
my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer.
I acknowledged my sin to Thee,
and I did not hide my iniquity;
I said, “I will confess my
transgressions to the Lord”;
Then Thou didst forgive the guilt of my sin.
Therefore let every one who is godly offer prayer to Thee.’
Now that my spirit has been redeemed, I prepare to meet my former master, Philemon. Upon my return it is my hope that Philemon will accept me just as my Lord has accepted me with open arms. No longer as a slave, but as a beloved brother, as my brother Paul has lovingly explained to me. Whatever the outcome, my faith lies in my heavenly father. I am no longer a slave to this earth, but a beloved son in His eyes. Before my name Onesimus, meant ‘useful’ as a slave. Now that I am transformed I am ‘useful’ for the Lord. Once a lowly possession, I am now a prized treasure. To anyone that comes after me that suffers from the chains of bondage be assured that through repentance for your sins and faith in Jesus, you too will be free.