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Is your bag too big?



When I pack for a trip and don’t want to check my bags, I strategically begin figuring out how to pack everything I NEED into one personal and one carry on item. Since I am limited on space, I make sure I have the largest bags I am allowed and fill them until nothing else fits.

 

Now, let’s define need.

 

Well, I definitely NEED all the hair and facial items it takes to get me looking presentable! Since I am not sure what the weather will be like or what I may do, I NEED to be prepared for every type of weather and event that may take place.  So, what I NEED is to pack for all the what if and just in case scenario’s that take over my thinking.

 

Then, as I am hustling through the airport and navigating through security to get to my gate on time, my neck and arms begin feeling stiff and sore from the weight of the bag I’m carrying on my shoulders. I find myself getting frustrated when the wheels on my bag aren’t rolling smoothly, and now I have to lift this heavy baggage onto the security belt. I must unpack those items that need to be placed separately in a bin, and strategically re-pack them so they fit back in the bag and the zipper is able to shut!

 

Oh, and by the way, now I am sweaty and hot.  Warning: watch out when I get hot!


Have you considered that this same scenario could be said about packing and carrying baggage through life?  


There are burdens that I have carried with me since childhood. Negative events that have affected how I see myself both physically and emotionally. I also keep adding items and holding on to them until I am weighed down and nothing else fits in my bag.


Then it happens. I am overwhelmed, tired, and hot from the packing and unpacking as well as the weight of the baggage.  Remember my warning, watch out when I get hot!


But, this is not what my heavenly Father wants for me.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses,

let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.

And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus,

the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, 

scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners,

so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. 

 Hebrews 12:1-3 NIV

 

In order to run with perseverance the course God has set for my life, I have learned that I must lay aside these burdens I have held on to. I must lighten my load and only carry His grace and mercy with me. That is really all I NEED. God can and will break any lingering unhealthy patterns and replace them with hope and deep satisfaction in Him. My job is to choose to lighten my load and let Him carry the heavy pieces of my life.

 

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart,

and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Matthew 11:28-30 NIV

 

It has not been easy for me to let go of these unhealthy mindsets, and as I reflect on why it hasn’t been easy, I think it boils down to trust. Do I really trust God? Do I trust His purpose for what I am walking through and that He is with me and would never leave me?


I try to put a blanket of God’s trust over me to protect me. But I'm sure there are immense holes driven into the fabric of trust that I'm not even aware are there. I think a big part of trust is walking ahead in faith and being ok with never knowing why I had to walk through the difficulties in life. I think trust really comes down to walking a path simply because God has asked me to.


The Holy Spirit has been so faithful in not giving up on me.  The Holy Spirit has helped me to unclench my white knuckled hold and let go of those things that are holding me back and weighing me down from getting to the destination God has planned for me.

 

When I begin feeling weighed down, tired, and yes, even angry, I know that it is time to assess the size of my bag and the weight that I am carrying.

 

My friend, is it time for you to do the same?

 

What burdens are your holding on to? Is it time to unpack, lighten your load and let go of the unnecessary, burdensome baggage that is weighing you down?

 

I pray that you can define the negative weight you have been carrying, get rid of it, and replace it with the grace, mercy, love, and joy that God will replace it with.


He says come to me all you who are weary and burdened. I will give you rest.

 

With love and joy,

 

Laura

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