EASTER - what does that word conjure up in your heart and memories?
When I was 8 years old, I realized that Jesus was truly the Son of God, "God with us" - the fleshly imbodiment of the Holy Divine Godhead - the one true God of all gods - worthy of all praise, honor and glory. Easter has always brought, beginning with the Lenton Season, great joy, power and hope to me personally.
This Easter was somehow different for me - this Easter Season, our family faced the heartache and horrow of one of our own who tried to take her own life, all too painful reminders of addictions, disease, spiritual, emotional and physical strongholds and all who would say that they know God and have given their hearts to Jesus- and so why so much heartache and bondage, I wonder?
Some would be honest in saying that they are "believers," but not necessarily "followers of Christ" - others might say that they are "tired and weary of this life - worn out - exchausted, overwhelmed and disheartened and discouraged." Others might say that their "faith is weak" and they just "get tired of the struggles and challenges of this life." I was discouraged by what I was hearing and witnessing and I found that my own faith was being tested and I was keenly aware that all around me there was the luggage of life stacking up and up and up.
Why do we lug baggage around with us, when we could live in blessings? Because we are human beings, fragile, frail, wounded, worn and torn apart by our choices, our circumstances, our wanderings outside of God's goodness and grace, our sin, and all too often, because we are stubborn and we don't want "anyone (not even God) telling me what I should do," and besides, "if God is so good, why does He allow us to suffer? Why did Jesus have to suffer and die?" These statements always sadden and challenge me, because I have found in my own life, that it is all too often "me" who allows evil, sin and sorrow into my life for one reason or another.
In thinking back on this Easter season and though I was not refreshed, rejuvinated and renewed, as I have been in the past, I was profoundly reminded of my own brokeness and of my need of the Savior, of the redeeming blood of the Lamb of God, encouraged to lay down the "baggage" I may be lugging around at the foot of the Cross.
Below, is something of what Max Lucado describes about the "Luggage of Life" that I hope will encourage you, as it has encouraged me to yoke myself with the LORD - for "His yoke is easy and His burdens are light!"
With Love and Hope in Christ, as always - Angie "a mom like you."
The Luggage of Life
Excerpts from “Traveling Light” by Max Lucado
“Traveling light means trusting God with the burdens you were never intended to bear.”
The bags we grab are not made of leather; they’re made of burdens. The suitcase of guilt; a sack of discontent. You drape a duffle bag of weariness on one shoulder and a hanging bag of grief on the other. Add on a backpack of doubt, an overnight bag of loneliness, and a trunk of fear. Soon you’re pulling more stuff than a skycap. No wonder you’re so tired at the end of the day. Lugging luggage is exhausting.
Ask the Lord to reveal any burdens you need to lay down.
Sit with a piece of paper and a pen in hand, and write down any burdens the Lord brings to mind.
Ask God to show you how to release these burdens.
What burdens are your loved ones needlessly bearing?
What can you do to help them lay down those unnecessary burdens
God is saying to you, “Set that stuff down! You’re carrying burdens you don’t need to bear.”
Psalm 23 . . .
“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil; For You are with me;
Your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil. My cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever.” -Psalm 23 (NKJV)
"Lay it all down 'sisters of the heart' - let's lay it all down and live in freedom and under blessings!