When was the last time you went on a trip and had to pack a suit case in order to be prepared for the upcoming events? Now imagine you putting your whole life into several suitcases. You will have one for your faith, your family, friends, future, education, projects and burdens. In the one for faith, you will have several bibles, highlighters, pens, pencils and prayer cards. The second suitcase you will have: pictures of your children, along with family portraits, several sets of clothes for all of you in the family for the upcoming vacation along with the swimsuits and towels. In the third suitcase you will have: pictures, plans, friendships, valuable lessons learned from the friends and a piece of a cord that represents the bond you have with your friends. For the remaining suitcases you will have pieces that represent where you are now; after using the first three to show you valuable lessons throughout your life at different times and different phases. Now take all seven suitcases and go through them one at time, does your perspective change? Sometimes we get so busy in the world that we do not take the time to empty the suitcases. As you go through them, what do you see? Each piece of material in the seven suitcases represent your everyday life, and shows you several pieces of where you came from and the journey to get there. Now you come to the seventh suitcase: Burdens and you ask yourself what is it that I have been holding on to and why have you kept it packed up instead of going through the contents of the seventh suitcase. The answer is even Christians try to hold onto some of their burdens and eventually it will feel like you are carrying all seven suitcases, because the weight of all of them combined will weigh you down, and God wants us to give our burdens to him. Sometimes holding onto the past and the burdens you are carrying may prevent you from growing in Christ for he wants all of your heart and not just the pieces in the suitcases.
Psalm 55:22 (TNIV) Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.
Isaiah 58:6 (KJV) Is this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?
1st Peter 5:6-7 (HCSB) Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, so that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all of your care on Him, because he cares about you.
Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV) "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest, take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
Think about the seven suitcases of your life and then think about the last suitcase: Burdens and then ask yourself if you are ready to empty that suitcase in order to follow Christ without the weight of them tearing you down; and are you ready to give up your heavy burdens to God, so that you can grow and continue to follow him? What is in your suitcases? A-men.