How Much Luggage Do You Have?
Cast your burden on the Lord, and He will sustain you. He shall never permit the righteous to be moved. Psalms 55:22
Tonight, I want to write a short story to illustrate my point. I hope you will read it with an open mind, and see if you might have some similar problems (issues) that are in this story. And guess what. Everyone that reads this story will find they do. I did. :) The secret is… most people don't want to hear they might have faults or be harboring fugitive feelings in their hearts. They would rather wallow in it, and never face it.
June was about to get married. Two more weeks, it was so exciting. She was trying to decide what to take on the honeymoon trip. She was making a list. She had a whole new wardrobe, some very nice jewelry, and even some lovely negligees. She was ready for a fabulous honeymoon. What June did not realize was how much luggage she would need. It had not occurred to her yet.
June had met Gene a year ago, and they had fallen in love quickly. It had been a whirlwind romance. They loved to travel here and there, and they kept very busy. Sometimes too busy, because they had yet to sit down and discuss what each of them had for long term goals, or what kind of spiritual life they both had, or where they wanted to live eventually. They had just been out having fun.
June had 2 sets of luggage to take into this marriage. One that was visible, and one that was not. The visible set would be far less troublesome than the invisible. And would wreak havoc on her relationship. In the invisible set of luggage she had carefully packed things for a long time. So much that more than one piece of luggage was needed for it. She carried them with her wherever she went, and faithfully maintained them to a fault.
They were her baggage. Two pieces of luggage contained her relationship with her parents. One for mom, and one for dad. In these pieces of luggage were unforgiveness for the way she thought her parents had failed her, for all the times she felt she had been punished unjustly, or for the times they had let her down. She also had picked up many of their bad habits. A critical spirit, messy habits around the house, a tendency to be bossy rather than respectful. And a few personality similarities to her parents that they had gotten from their parents. (Generational curses) This luggage was her heaviest. She maintained it in good order by thinking about these things occasionally and not letting go of any of them. They were not only her history, they were her curse. She just didn't know that yet. It made her feel justified in all her faults. Other people had done this to her…it was entirely their fault.
She had another set of luggage from past relationships with men. Each one had hurt her in one way or another, and bought up defense patterns in her, that she never worked through, never let go of, and almost religiously held on to. And most certainly, she did not see what she had done in these relationships to make them fall apart. She might have to admit she had been wrong! And they would have a ripple effect on any future relationship. Because she had not learned from her past and moved on…she held her past to her as if it was a prize possession.
Another set of luggage was from friends that she had in the past. All the slights, and hurts, and all the things she had gotten into that she should not have, were packed into these pieces of luggage. They were quite heavy, with unconfessed sin and unforgiveness, and they had taken her down a road, she would not have ever gone on, if she had been more vigilant about her life choices. Lots of secrets were packed in this set of luggage. Some things she would have been ashamed about if anyone else knew. She had a set of luggage from stubbornness. From things she found important to sit and count as if they were stacks of coins. For she liked to be right. The world was against her; she needed all these defenses to survive. She couldn't have anything wrong with her? It was always someone else that made her do this.
June had many more pieces of luggage that she had picked up along the way. She needed a cart to tote it around it had become so burdensome, and it had changed her very soul. But she wasn't facing that yet. She was too self-involved self-righteous, and frankly, didn't want to hear about it. So on one hand…she is going into a brand new life, a comparatively new relationship and a huge set of baggage she expects her mate to help her carry around and deal with. How fair is that? Her
Fiancée Gene had his own set of luggage he was carrying into the relationship, and it was even bigger than June's. But she had not seen this yet. She had been too busy basking in the fun, and in the joy of being loved. And Gene wasn't about to tell her about his past with his parents, other women, alcohol and abuse. Gene would unleash that on her later, little by little.
Baggage, not unclaimed but unrecognized. WE all have it. Full of the past. Full of hurts and slights that people have done to us, that we have never let go of. Full of ways we feel our parents were not capable, or let us down. Full of relationships that went sour and made us bitter. And all of this is attached to our spirit. Making us weigh tons more than we need to. Did you know that about yourself? Did you recognize that you were carrying around a cartload of invisible baggage? Would it not feel great to face it? Let us figure out how to do this.
We are about to enter a New Year. It should be new. Are we going to tarnish it by bringing the past with all its hurts and sorrows into the New Year, and weighing it down before it starts? I think there is some way we can eliminate this. But it will take time, patience, and facing ourselves in the mirror. Having the courage to admit we are wrong, and admit that no one is perfect, and letting go of every past hurt we have ever faced. Giving grace to others, as Jesus does us. Unmerited favor, and forgiveness for the asking. We should forgive people, because it is the right thing to do, even if they never ask.
Wouldn't it be nice, if June and Gene could each open up that invisible luggage and piece by piece get rid of all the garbage stuffed in it? How about if June takes it to the local river, and just says, "God…I need healing, I now release the past, ask forgiveness and healing for my soul"…and throws it away in the river. One thing at a time, little by little, throwing it all away. Till she is free of it all! Wouldn't that feel great to get rid of all that? Wow. Freedom, truly free in your spirit.
Do you want to be free tonight? Or would you rather sit around and think about everyone that ever hurt you and feed those thoughts breakfast lunch and dinner? Most of us do that…we just don't recognize it. I challenge you and dare you tonight…to face your invisible baggage. You have a ton of it my friend. We all do. Open up that luggage. Forgive your parents, your relatives, your old friends, and mates, forgive everyone...UNCONDITIONALLY. Let it go. Throw it away. Cast your burdens on the Lord and he shall sustain you.
My own feelings…life is too short for all this baggage. I want to be free. I want to savor life. I want to savor the relationships I do have. I want to touch the lives of others and make a difference. But if I allow bitterness, unforgiveness, or all my hang-ups to rule my spirit, I will be valuable to no one, especially myself. And most of all, God cannot use me, because the sin keeps Him and me apart. The word of God tells us that if we have sin in our hearts, God cannot hear our prayers. Now we know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is a worshipper of God and does His will, he hears him. John 9:31
Does God hear you? Can you hear Him? Is your heart full of the past? Don't you want to be free? You have to give it away. Just peel your fingers off of all the hurt, disappointments, and habits…and confess them to God. Ask Forgiveness. And my friend, don't pick it back up. Let go. Each time you feel yourself starting to count your past hurts, or problems or anything else…give it to Jesus. WE cannot make progress unless we do this. We will be walking around with a million pounds of unseen luggage. Is this what you want? It is entirely your choice.