“Awake, awake! Put on your strength, O Zion; put on your beautiful garments O Jerusalem, the holy city!. . . Shake yourself from the dust, arise; sit down, O Jerusalem! Loose yourself from the bonds of your neck, O captive daughter of Zion!» (Isaiah 52: l,2)
Edson Cholbi do Nascimento, better known as Edinho, the son of legendary Pele was a goalkeeper for the Santos soccer club during the nineties, the same club that brought fame to his father almost forty years ago. Edinho had the same potential as his father and wears in his genes the real footprint. However, he was arrested in various occasions for his connection to the world of drugs. How has Edinho gotten trapped in this cruel addiction? It is possible that he started out of curiosity. Maybe the drugs were within his reach or because some «friends» tempted him. Maybe he chose this «way out» as a strategy to avoid painful situations; meanwhile, his acts became habits, without him even realizing it. Even if Edinho is still the son of «the King of Football,» the strength of his habits became his most powerful chains.
How could he free himself from the ties that held him? It is interesting to observe that the daughter of Zion, mentioned in today’s Bible verse, receives the order to loose herself from her bonds. The Father wants to see her free and is suffering because of her slavery. He insistently calls her to wake her up from her lethargy. He would happily support and strengthen her; He would ensure her of His presence and would even encourage and reassure her; but no one else than she herself could decide to break the habit which keeps her chained. ‘Wake up!’—He tells her—’Be aware; decide today to cut the tie of those chains. But there is something else you have to do: remove the elements that keep you trapped and asleep. Shake oh-the dust of your entourage. Arise!’ This is an order that echoes with such power. Tie habits and the bonds are closely related to our physical, mental and moral health. To be completely healthy, we have the critical task of knowing what ties us or which could end up destroying us.
How about you? Have you identified the habit that keeps you in slavery? Whatever the nature of chains is, decide today to shake off the dust of your entourage and past. Only when you regain your will and power of self-control will there will be real progress (7he Ministry of Healing, ch. 8, pp. 129, 130). The order is: arise! Lose yourself from the bonds of your neck! Remember that you are the son of the Heavenly King, and unlike the king of soccer, this Sovereign is Almighty and ready to help you as soon as you ask Him.