Ease The Load

I heard someone point out that there are two kinds of people in the world.  There are those who travel light and those who don’t.  In my family, we have both kinds of people. For example, I myself travel light. When I travel, I can take enough clothes for a week or so in one normal size suitcase. My wife doesn’t travel light. When she takes short trips she packs everything including the kitchen sink! Well, maybe that’s stretching it a bit, but she does carry three times as much as I do. When I load her bags into the car I groan saying, “What did you put in this suitcase?” As you might imagine, carrying a heavy suitcase quickly becomes tiresome, and it’s not easy to lighten the load once the journey has started.

In the spiritual sense, I find that people frequently 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. Folks end up packing into their spiritual suitcase unresolved conflict, relational breakdowns, unsettled arguments, bitterness and grudges. Throughout the journey, they keep adding to the load. It becomes more and more difficult to carry around. And, for some odd reason, many hold on to these things for dear life.
 
Wouldn’t it bring God incredible glory if you could do something about this?  The Bible records, in Matthew chapter 18, Peter coming to Jesus one day. Somebody has offended Peter. We don’t know any of the details, but it happened.  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 you have laid your life before the cross to receive the gift of forgiveness, Jesus calls you to do the same with the issues that overload your soul. Whatever weight you’re carrying around, whatever hurt or bitterness is in your life, be willing to lay it down at the foot of the cross and remember again the price that was paid for your forgiveness. There is no miracle like that of forgiveness for easing the load of your spiritual suitcase!

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