Trained Elephants


Elephants are magnificent creatures. The largest animal on land. They have so much power that they can easily take down small trees and move most anything in their way. Yet they can be kept captive by tethering them with a rope to a stake in the ground. How could something with such might and ability be kept detained with so little? The trick is that they are trained to think that way from a young age. When they are small, they are tied up with a rope that is too strong for them to break. At first they pull and tug trying to get loose. Eventually they resign to the fact that they can’t break free and they stop trying. As they grow larger and stronger, they never realize that they now have the power to break free. They see the rope and count it as defeat without even trying any more. So, they stay bound.

As people, we sometimes have the same experience. Jesus encountered such a woman. She had been bound for eighteen years, bent over and unable to raise up. But when Jesus saw her, He called her to Him and said to her, “Woman, you are loosed from your infirmity.” Luke 13:11-12. She was free after eighteen years of being in bondage! This was all she had known for so long. You could imagine that she never thought she would see that day come. What joy she must have felt when Jesus laid His hands on her and she straightened up! She has no idea that she would ever know anything other than captivity in her own body.

Many of us have the same issue as this poor woman. We are held captive by something that has been hanging around so long, we think it’s just a permanent part of our lives. It could be a negative idea about ourselves that we have been told since childhood, so we grew up believing it was true. It could be a bad habit that we feel like we can never break, because “it’s just part of who I am”. There are so many ways the enemy trains us into thinking we are stuck in situations of bondage. But Jesus says we are free! That’s one of the reasons He came – to set the captives free. It’s what He did when He defeated the enemy. All the schemes of the devil, the lying, the deceit, the trickery …everything that comes from him, has been defeated by Jesus. And whom the Son sets free is free indeed!

Think about that woman for a moment. She was physically stuck in a stooped position. It would be impossible for the muscles to soon become flexible and strong enough to hold her upright. It would be impossible for the bones that were fused in that position to become loose, but it happened instantly! That freedom is not only for that one woman. It is for all of us who believe. Don’t keep believing the trick and letting that little rope keep you tied up.

Think about: Is there something that is holding you captive? Is there a habit you would like to break or an attitude you would like to change, but you feel as though it is impossible? Would you like to be set free?

Prayer: Father, thank you for sending Jesus to set me free. I want to walk in that freedom. Help me break this rope of bondage, and show me what I need to do to keep from getting tangled in it again. In Jesus Name. Amen.


Amy Key works as a secretary during the week and helps her friend with catering in her free time.  She enjoys serving on the kitchen team with her daughter.  On Sundays she can usually be found serving breakfast to the wonderful volunteers here at the River.

River Community Church