Sunday, July 08, 2007

Excess Baggage

Grand Sweep Daily Reading: Isaiah 17, 18, 19

Isaiah 17:10-11 (NIV)

10 You have forgotten God your Savior; you have not remembered the Rock, your fortress. Therefore, though you set out the finest plants and plant imported vines, 11 though on the day you set them out, you make them grow, and on the morning when you plant them, you bring them to bud, yet the harvest will be as nothing, in the day of disease and incurable pain.

Luke 10:41-42 (NIV)

41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Good morning!

My husband Jeff laughs at me every single time we pack up to take a trip. I’m always worried we are going to forget something essential. I used to be very meticulous, especially when our children were younger. I would begin to make a list of everything I thought we would need, all the way down to the exact changes of socks and underwear for each child. I would allow the stress of packing to drive me down the turnpike of distraction as I worried myself silly about what we may have left behind. It’s not like we were traveling so far from civilization that we couldn’t find a store to purchase some item we accidentally left sitting on the kitchen counter. I don’t know why I spent so much time fretting about our stuff. Does anyone out there know what I’m talking about?

Life is way too short for this type of silliness. The older I get, the more I do not like to pack. Whether I’m preparing for vacation, or packing up our home to move, I confess - packing is not fun, no matter how I try to spin it. When our children were younger, I did my best to convince them that packing for our new adventure is really cool! Who was I kidding? Moving is hard, hard work, whether you are relocating your tent across the street, or across the country. John Wesley learned how to carry what he needed in the saddle bag strapped to his trusty horse. Now that’s my kind of packing. He probably didn’t even carry an extra change of clothes. Ewwww!

When we reach our final destination, do you think we will have what we really need? Are we carrying heavy baggage around that will do us no good when we reach the end of our earthly journey? Isaiah was not impressed with the people of Damascus, Cush and Egypt. They were spending far too much time investing in meaningless stuff. They had forgotten to pack God into their lives. The people were busy building beautiful cities, planting lavish gardens, and spending all their energy on themselves. They had forgotten about the Lord God Almighty, who remained quiet, while looking down from His dwelling place, watching and waiting to see if someone would remember Him. Isaiah’s people were so self-absorbed in pursuing personal comfort. Could they not see that their personal baggage was weighing them down like the millstone wrapped securely around their neck?

Take a good long look at the stuff you carry around in your life. Do you need to unload it at the foot of the cross today? If you are like me, you may find that you’ve been focusing way too much on the things that will not last. Unzip your suitcase and open the flap. Can you find God inside? How much space have you allowed Him? Did you pack the Lord in that tiny zippered compartment, buried underneath a mound of meaningless stuff? Is He even in there? If God is inside, can you find Him? How much of the Lord are you willing to carry with you through life’s journey?

Listen to the prophet Isaiah. His Word speaks! Jesus Christ is waiting to take the unnecessary baggage of your life, if you are willing to hand it over. Are you willing?

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding

Pray for: the Lord to lighten your load! Have you made room for Jesus in your heart? Is the stuff of your life taking up so much space that you have no room for Him? Here’s the Good News: we don’t have to carry it anymore. You can let it all go at the foot of the cross today. Make room in your heart for Jesus Christ. Give Him your all your stuff; let Him carry your grief and pain. He can empty out the trivial and fill you up this morning with His holy presence. If you will let Him, He will change your life forever. I’ll see you today at Faith Church, where we are dropping the mother load of guilt and shame, once and for all.


© Copyright 2007, Deb Spaulding

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