Baggage We Do Not Need To Carry

“Praise be to Yahweh, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens.” Psalm 68:19

Ecclesiastes1.jpgThe author of Ecclesiastes seems somewhat pessimistic at times in his short book.  He laments in chapter three that God places a heavy burden on mankind.  He goes on to suggest that humans and animals share the same fate of dying, and questions, Who knows if the human spirit rises upward and if the spirit of the animal goes down into the earth?” (3:21)  This is a far cry from what Solomon’s dad penned in Psalm 68.

David was a man who knew his God, from the times he sat on a hillside watching Jesse’s sheep and worshiping Him in the solitude of the lonely hills to when God delivered Goliath into his hands.  Even so, with a list of failures and missed cues from God, he still found refuge in God’s faithfulness to “daily bear our burdens.”

Baggage1We all tend to tote weights that God would prefer to bear on our behalf.  A dear friend has a heavy bag that is carried everywhere as if her life depended on it.  In her own words she told me that she has to walk slowly and stooped because of its weight.  However, Jesus said, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”  (Matthew 11:30)  So we must ask ourselves whose burden we are carrying.

Consider if that purse was snatched from her by a thief (God forbid!).  But she would not die from its loss.  She would still have food to eat, a place to sleep, and clothes to wear.  She would still have a family that loves her and would help recover the important things that were taken, believers who would gather round and try to help.

Baggage 2.jpgWe must unburden ourselves of this kind of baggage, and metaphorically release other weights we carry.  Hebrews’ author instructs us: Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” (12:1-2)

I am learning to travel light, carrying the truly essentials: my driver’s license, a few dollars cash (usually not more than $20), a pen and pencil, my house and car keys, a comb and handkerchief, a day’s supply of meds, a small notepad and my phone.  Think very carefully about adding anything to this list.  We need to be ready when Jesus returns, and bags of “stuff” only slow us down and make us stoop.  We all carry many other weights that are not of God’s choosing, and would be healthier and happier without them, if we could let our Lord carry them.

There was a time I was afraid to throw something away because I would have to go and buy one when I needed it, which usually seemed to be as soon as I threw it away!  Then I realized that was specifically God’s plan!  Because in getting rid of stuff, He leads us into new relationships where we can get what we need when we need it, but not before.  He wants us to build trust, and this is one way He does it.

BaggageBeyond material things we carry with us, there is a lot of baggage in the unseen world of the Spirit that slows us down and hinders us from letting God work through us.  Habitual sin fills the heart with “stuff” that holds us back from what God wants to accomplish.  Pride often blocks the avenues through which God would like to pour blessings on others.  Selfishness keeps us from carrying each other’s burdens (Galatians 6:2).  Unbiblical priorities rob us of energy that should be given to bringing our world closer to God, and instead we let opportunities slip through our hands.  Deafening noise from iPods, music-streaming services, or on our TVs keeps us from hearing the whispers of His Spirit (see October 2, 2016).  Even religion, when practiced for its own sake, can keep us from following Jesus, and blind us to His scandalous love for us.

The unburdening begins with practicing God’s Presence (August 27, 2017).  Recognize that He is always with you, even when you do not want Him to be!  Become aware that there are Eyes watching what our eyes see, Ears listening to what we are hearing, a Mind that understands our weakness but does not intend to leave us in that pitiful shape.  And begin to “cast all your cares on him because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7)

And remember, “This is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome.” (1 John 5:3)  Not at all!  He sets us free from burdens!!  We do not have to carry all that baggage anymore.


One thought on “Baggage We Do Not Need To Carry

  1. Hi, CA! Thanks to you and Anita again for a wonderful dinner out and even more, a life-giving, God-glorifying friendship!   I loved this line:  “Because in getting rid of stuff, He leads us into new relationships where we can get what we need when we need it, but not before.  He wants us to build trust, and this is one way He does it.” This is especially helpful as we are organizing our new home. Blessings on your trip, Karla


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