Thursday, March 19, 2009

What's in your luggage bag?

People-watching at the airport never gets old. You can always get a glimpse of someone's personality based on how they pack when they're going on a trip. You have...

Type A: The neat packer with the nice (possibly designer) luggage bag and purse, nothing too bulky or loud. They're probably the 'professionals' in the bunch who are used to traveling with the least amount of 'baggage'.

Type B: They strut a big black luggage bag, big purse, big backpack. They're the type that pack a little extra underwear 'just in case'. Just in case, what? I'm not sure :D. I can make fun of this group because I contribute to the mix.

Type C: They're seen carrying loud suitcases with tacky decor; an unraveling gaudy Christmas ribbon is fastened on the handle of each luggage bag. You'd be right to guess they've packed an entire wardrobe with a theme to match that of their vacation spot. :D

In the end, everyone's got baggage. And we all think it's safely packed away when the zipper closes... that is, until we get to security-check :). They see it all. Even the bags we don't carry-on the plane get scanned; privacy is nonexistent for safety's sake, and I don't mind one bit.

In life, which type are you? Most of us probably fall into the first category. We carry our purses or handbags full of the things we just can't seem to part with. Even if we clean 'em out, they always get full of gum-wrappers, old receipts and movie ticket stubs. To the outside world we seem to have 'it' all together. We're neat-freaks, figuratively and maybe even literally speaking. Yet we're still carrying around the junk that won't get past life's security check. We'll have to leave these things behind; this time it's for our soul's sake.

Jesus spent most of his time on earth around the physically and spiritually sick, or those who would admit to needing him. Tax collectors and leapers were his pals. Repeatedly, Jesus says he 'was sent only to the lost sheep' (Matthew 15: 24). The only ones who found healing were those who "came and knelt before him" (v. 25) or reached out and touched his cloak: "And wherever he went—into villages, towns or countryside—they placed the sick in the marketplaces. They begged him to let them touch even the edge of his cloak, and all who touched him were healed." (Mark 6:56) There wasn't anything standing in the way between them and the final destination, healing.

Our baggage literally holds us back from receiving blessings and every kind of healing, from the spiritual to physical. When we're getting ready to travel and leave the safety of our homes, we pack the extra belongings we 'think' we might need. Usually we're just creating more work for ourselves; more stuff to carry. They're things that way us down; more junk for security to rummage through. In the end, we simply make the trip even more stressful than it already is. And, of course, our carry-ons are full of the objects we really need, they represent the items we cling to -- maybe they're our most 'priceless possessions' or stuff that keeps us entertained.

Our spiritual baggage is made up of all that we "must rid yourselves of... such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander..." (Colossians 3:8). Let's not forget, "'It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick." Jesus said this when he dined with 'the lost sheep'.

Many of us view God as condemning, someone who will judge and show no compassion, especially in regards to sin and the baggage we cling to. It seems we fail to acknowledge the verse that follows: "But go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy and not sacrifice'..." (Matthew 9: 13)

It's true that "Great crowds came to him, bringing the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute and many others, and laid them at his feet; and he healed them." (Matthew 15:30) It also holds that Jesus came to offer relief to the lost sheep from the ailments that separated them from him. Though God is the ultimate judge, Jesus said, "For I did not come to judge the world, but to save it" (John 12:47) He is the intercessor we can hand our baggage to with confidence; he is and truly offers security. He will sift through every unnecessary thing we've packed; he'll tell us what's safe to carry on the journey, so long as we're willing to draw near and give him the baggage that separates us from his healing hand.

Psalm 69:5
You know my folly, O God; my guilt is not hidden from you.

Isaiah 59:2
But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.

Daniel 2:22
He reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with him.

Job 28:11
He searches the sources of the rivers and brings hidden things to light.

2 comments:

Miss Kris said...

Sophie~

Thank you for your SWEET comment!!! You are sooo talented yourself, love your art!! Very pretty!

~Miss Kris~

Sophie said...

Thank YOU -- I'm flattered, especially since this is coming from YOU :)!

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