This week's memory verse:
"Praises be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens." Psalm 68:19
I've been using the image of baggage a lot this week...I read something this morning that really got to me and I want to share it with you. (My inspiration comes from Max Lucado's book "Traveling Light.")
Picture a little boy getting off a plane and heading to the baggage claim with his family. He recognizes the family's luggage...maybe their suitcases have duct tape on the sides, making them very easy to spot. He wants to help SO BAD, so be spots the biggest, heaviest suitcase and tries to drag it off the carousel and then tries to carry it over to the family. His idea is he will carry it all the way out to the car....
When I thought of this helpful little boy, I thought of myself. I also want to help SO BAD that I think I have to carry the heaviest load. I don't know where this need to help everyone I meet comes from...if I were to analyze my motives, I may find that it comes from guilt I carry around from my own sins and shortcomings...but I know that God doesn't want me to carry such a heavy load all the time. That was NOT in his plan...that's why he gave us Jesus!
By reading the Bible, you can see how God's plan was taking shape through the stories in the old testament. This week we have been talking about David and his mistakes with Bathsheba and Uriah. In 2 Samuel 12, the next part of David's story is revealed.
God sent Nathan, the prophet, to talk to David. He first told him a story about how a rich man, who had many sheep, took the one prized sheep of a poor man. David immediately saw the injustice of the story. Nathan then told David that HE was that rich man. He had many wives and many blessings given to him by God and he took the wife and the life of one who had less than him. David saw the truth in what Nathan was saying and confessed that he had sinned against the Lord. He had to face the music...face and name his sin. The Lord forgave David, but told him there would be consequences for his actions...his son would die.
There are consequences for our actions and sins...sometimes these are the burdens we carry around with us that weigh us down and make traveling each day so very hard. But...God's plan went another direction with the appearance of Jesus on earth...he came to die for our sins. We may still have to deal with the physical consequences...and they may be difficult...but when we put our trust in Jesus...our sins are forgiven and he WILL HELP US CARRY OUR LOAD!
Remember the little boy with the heavy suitcase? His father will not let him carry it, because he knows he is not able to. The father might say, "Set it down, son. I'll carry that one."
When I worry about the mess I have made of my finances, and get weighted down with guilt and worry...I can't help anyone else because I am so weighted down with my own baggage. I can't serve the ones I love they way they need when I am trying to carry the heaviest bags myself. How do I get God to carry my bags? ASK!
When you give your burdens to God and put your trust in Jesus...he will help you carry the load. He may give you a smaller bag to carry that you can handle...but you feel relieved and less burdened and able to help someone else. This sounds so simple and it's hard to believe that it's that easy...but it is! You just have to face the music, trust in God to forgive you, and trust that he will say, "Set that one down child. I'll carry this one."