Someone once said that there are two kinds of people in the world. There are those who travel light and those who don’t. Each year my brother-in-law, sister-in-law and three nephews journey from Honduras to Texas for their summer vacation. There’s nothing light for this family of five’s luggage—three huge suitcases, three four foot duffle bags, five backpacks, and two car seats. You should see what they pack in those bags! As you might imagine, carrying those heavy bags can quickly become tiresome, and it’s not easy to lighten the load once their journey has started.

Spiritually speaking, it has been my experinece that people often carry heavy loads. It’s not that anyone actually intends to “travel heavy” spiritually. No one asks to carry burdens that crush the spirit, or weigh down the soul, but it often turns out that way. We end up carrying around unresolved conflict, relational breakdowns, unsettled arguments, bitterness and grudges. Throughout the journey, we keep adding to the load. And, for some odd reason, many of us hold on to these things for dear life.

Wouldn’t it bring God incredible glory if we could do something about this? In the Bible the New Testament records in the gospel of Matthew chapter eighteen and verses twenty one and twenty two Peter coming to Jesus one day with a question. We don’t know any of the details of what brought on the question but Peter says to Jesus, “How many times do I have to forgive this man? Seven times?” Peter thinks he’s being quite generous with this. But Jesus’ response is surprising. Jesus answered Peter, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” Jesus knew that the only way to get rid of bitterness was to forgive. The power of forgiveness comes in and through Jesus. Even as we have laid our lives before the cross to receive the gift of forgiveness, Jesus calls us to do the same with the issues that weigh down our souls.

Whatever weight you’re carrying around, whatever hurt or bitterness is in your life, be willing to lay it down and remember again the price that was paid for your forgiveness. There is no miracle like that of forgiveness for lightening the load of everyday burdens! Well it’s time to unpack!


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