When I think back on my teenage years and young adult life, I recall a great deal of baggage. I had undergone multiple forms of abuse, starting at a young age. Over time, different life events added to the previous collection of hurts. Being bullied in school brought about low self-worth. Caving into peer pressures landed me into an alcohol-filled lifestyle that robbed me of precious memories, and even friends. Yearning to fit in lead me to commit acts of sexual impurity of my mind and body. Becoming a victim of anxiety overruled every decision in my life.
Having close friends or family offered a helping hand to carry my baggage. Sharing my troubles most definitely felt like some weight had been lifted. But, when I hung up the phone with that friend or when that relative walked out of my door, the baggage was left behind. And, I certainly picked it back up again.
I’ve only ever been on a plane for a single trip in my life. Upon arriving to the airport, I had to ‘check-in’ my baggage. There were restrictions in regards to size and weight for my baggage in order to be carried in cargo. Therefore, anything that surpassed this restriction was now my fee. Of course as a first-timer, I had no concept of “packing light”. So, the extra weight of my baggage was my responsibility.
As I recollect the weight of my internal baggage of troubles, I am made aware of its heaviness. And, with each new hardship came even more heaviness. I truly thought the added weight made me a stronger person. If I could handle what was thrown at me already, I could surely handle anything else that came my way! On the contrary, I was undeniably weak. I spent much of my public time in anger and my private time in tears.
I lived a dual life- which invokes much disapproval (Revelation 3:16-17). I spent many years avoiding church, but proclaiming to be godly. However, yet another confrontation with adversity brought me back to my roots with Christ. I prayed; hard. I began to search for Him. I accepted Him back in my life. And ultimately, I learned that HE wanted my baggage. [Seriously!]
My friend, Jesus, offered me a helping hand with my baggage- and never asked me to “pack lightly”. “Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down… But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins…“- Isaiah 53:4-5 (NLT).
And unlike my earthly friends and family, He never gave it back. “Christ suffered for our sins once for all time. He never sinned, but he died for sinners to bring you safely home to God…”- 1 Peter 3:18 (NLT).
He took the weight as His sole responsibility, and even paid the fee! “…He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous. He himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins—and not only our sins but the sins of all the world.”- 1 John 2:1-2 (NLT)
And, when I feel weak from new baggage, I will hand it over to Jesus and gain steadfast strength! “…I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me... For when I am weak, then I am strong.”- 2 Corinthians 12:8-10 (NLT).
I praise, Jesus, for His sacrifice! I pray, you friends, will grab hold of these truths! And, I thank, Jesus, for [our] freedom-paid by his ransom!
“And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins.”- Romans 8:2-3 (NLT)