Chains of gold can become like chains of iron. And while people envy you while you wear fine jewelry, you can become the prisoner of such finery. Your bondage is no better than the person who is unjustly kept prison. The only comfort you have is that God, in His wisdom, has allowed this, and this is the same comfort that an innocent prisoner has.
The comfort that comes from knowing you are in God's hands in inexhaustible. When you are in God's care nothing else matters. How blessed you are when you are cut off from your own will so that you might follow God's will. But it is no easy journey! Let me tell you what it is like: You can no longer live for yourself. Day and night you do only what God wants. But so much the better! He keeps you bound hand and foot and never leaves you a moment to yourself! Shall I go on? He leads you to sacrifice more and more, and you go from one troublesome situation to another! He trains you to fulfill His noble plans amidst the petty annoyances and aggravations of life. And He doesn't allow you much more than a moment's rest! Hardly will one annoying person have gone before God sends another to you.
You think that it is spiritually important to have free time to be alone with God; but I tell you, you will really get closer to Him by embracing the cross in your life, and not always seeking to experience tender moments in the presence of God. When the torrential floods of daily business sweep you away, just let yourself be carried off with no regret. Don't you know you will find God in this torrent, too?
Jesus said to Peter, "Before, you walked where you wanted to, but when you are older, another stronger than you will guide you and lead you to where you do not want to go." Like Peter, let yourself be led in this way. To dream of freedom is a lovely idea, but perhaps you will never reach it. You need to realize that you might die in your present condition. The Israelites in Babylon longed for Jerusalem, but there were many who never saw Jerusalem, and died in Babylon. What if those people had waited until they got to Jerusalem to serve God? Be like those Israelites who served God even in captivity.