December 21, 2018
On Your Life Journey, Unpacking Is Necessary
Well, Christmas is rapidly approaching, and for many, that means a road trip, congested airports, weather delays, holding patterns, sleeping in odd beds, rushing between relatives and stuffing ourselves with “special” foods. One part of travel that I enjoy is packing. I’m quick, well-organized, and take only what I really need. I am good with wearing the same clothes for consecutive days without a problem. My girls are efficient as well. But another person in our family—I won’t mention who she is—takes days to pack way more than she needs and has a lot of trouble getting rid of excess baggage—no matter how short and simple the trip is!
Extra baggage on a road trip weighs us down, but it’s not harmful unless you have a bad back. On the other hand, extra baggage on airlines is costly. But, when it comes to our minds and hearts, it’s amazing how much extra and toxic baggage we voluntarily jam into our hidden compartments. Try as I may, I find that the brokenness and sin of my past is like huge stone hanging around my neck. Carrying that stone brings guilt, shame and weakness. I know and believe I have been forgiven, but at times, I struggle with laying that stone down and walking away from it.
Our yesterdays hold broken and irreversible things for us. It is true that we have lost opportunities that will never return, but God can transform this destructive guilt and anxiety into constructive thoughtfulness and hope for a transforming future. Trusting God’s forgiveness is a big and difficult stretch for most, including myself. It takes time to receive God’s forgiveness and to absorb the full depth and power of it, allowing it to seep into our hidden compartments.
For me, I had to work up to this huge step of trust by practicing, implementing and applying trust in much smaller areas of life and in my relationship with God. Trusting Him when there is an illness, a flat tire, a change of plans, someone else in charge, a revised deadline, a random expense, a child’s need of protection, the feeling of not being loved or valued. Any talent can lead to a powerful skill by starting small, practicing and then stretching it. Trust is the same way. Trusting in the power of God is one of the richest skills you can develop. Unpack some baggage, but pull it out of your heart with the loving hand of Jesus Christ. This is why He came to earth, to set us free from our baggage and the stone of sin.
Today, leave the broken, irreversible past in His hands, and step out into your invincible future with Him. Start by trusting Him, His agenda, promises, character and instruction in three separate situations today. You probably already do this from time to time. But learn that what you are actually doing is trusting in God so you can grow this skill and finally be free from your past. Lighthouse Network workshops are specifically designed to help you properly unpack your toxic baggage. Call our 844-Life-Change (844-543-3242) Helpline if you need professional counseling, residential, or rehab to get rid of some huge weights you are carrying. They make great Christmas presents for both those in need as well as those around them. Whether you unpack your baggage and live free or you carry it through this life and let it weigh you down is your decision, so choose well.
Dear Father God, I can easily become paralyzed with shame, guilt and fear over my past. I have hurt You, and I know I have hurt others. I am so thankful for Your promise of forgiveness. Thank You, Lord. I ask You, Father, to help me lay down the heavy stone of my past that I have been carrying. Let me remember and be accountable for my past brokenness and sin, but let it not keep me from moving toward You with freedom. I pray in the name of the One whom You sent to remove my toxic baggage, Jesus Christ. And all God’s children say AMEN!
“But you will not leave in haste or go in flight; for the LORD will go before you, the God of Israel will be your rear guard.” Isaiah 52:12
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9
“I will cleanse them from all the guilt of their sin against me, and I will forgive all the guilt of their sin and rebellion against me.” Jeremiah 33:8