Day 14: What's in Your Bags?
Let us lay aside every weight. (Hebrews 12:1)
An airport is a great place to go people watching. As you watch the sea of people bustling about, you'll notice that almost everyone has a bag or suitcase. Some people have only a small bag strapped to their shoulder, some drag a suitcase behind them, and some have so many bags they need a porter and cart to carry them all.
I suppose that if you could look at the world around us through spiritual eyes, if you could see the things which are invisible and hidden from view, you would see a scene very similar to an airport. Whether in your neighborhood, in the office, at church, at the mall, or wherever you go, you would see people dragging baggage behind them. You might be surprised to learn that some of your friends even carry a bag or two.
What is in the bags you ask?
Over there is a woman smartly dressed in a business suit. She cheated on her husband, a cheap one-night stand, while away on business trip, and the guilt is about to tear her apart. She wants to tell her husband so badly, but she's afraid. So she tucks the guilt into her suitcase and carries it around with her.
Over here is a young Bible college student. He's popular and looked up to, but no one knows his secret life, spending hours alone in his dorm room viewing pornography. No one knows how many times he's cried himself to sleep at night, wishing he could stop. How can God forgive me of my lust? I'm so dirty and ashamed. So instead of going to God with his sin, he stuffs it in his bag and carries it around with him.
And over here is a middle-aged man with graying hair. In his bag is a life-long collection of regrets and failures, his back bowed from carrying such a heavy burden for so long. He married the wrong person. Chose the wrong major. Got involved with the wrong people. Accepted the wrong job. Turned right instead of left. Life now seems to offer nothing but dead ends and there's nowhere to turn.
And what about you? Do you have a bag or two that you drag around with you? What's in your bag? What is it that you refuse to let go of? Is it anger? Bitterness? Lust? Guilt? Regrets? Disappointments? Failures? Questions?
You don't have to carry around that bag anymore. "Come to me," Jesus extends the invitation. "All of you who are weary and burdened, come to me and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28). Jesus dared to look into the leathery faces of farmers and fishermen and offer them rest. He looked into the lonely eyes of a prostitute and the cynical eyes of a zealot and the disillusioned eyes of a religious leader and made this promise, "Take my yoke upon you and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." (Matthew 11:29). They came out of their homes and businesses and synagogues and brought him their burdens, and Jesus gave them not religion, not doctrine, not systems, but rest.
Are you weary from carrying your burden? Bring it to Jesus. It is no small wonder that Calvary was located on the old garbage dump of Jerusalem. It is the place to bring your trash, your refuse, those things you are tired of holding on to. Come and lay your bags at the foot of the cross. You have everything to lose, and everything to gain.