In our world of I can do it without any help, thank you very much, we often assume that freedom means a release of pain. Freedom seems to be seen as something which lets you be carefree and without any sticky and messy attachments. But freedom can be something that is quite painful. I heard the other day how Frederick Douglass seriously considered staying in a life of slavery because the transition to freedom was going to be so painful. He was going to have to say good-bye to dear friends and family and venture into a new life. Freedom awaited him, but so did pain, and this led him to put off the decision to leave a while longer. Imagine the world without Frederick Douglass, if he had not taken his place in the use of his gifts and been instrumental as an abolitionist. Douglass wrote upon leaving, “‘A new world had opened upon me.’ ‘Anguish and grief, like darkness and rain, may be depicted, but gladness and joy, like the rainbow, defy the skill of pen or pencil.’”
We can learn from this that when we move from the slavery of sin to the freedom of righteousness that it may be a difficult, painful, and wonderful thing.