Traveling Light, or Packing a Load?

A large but light and cushy pillow lay doubled over on our couch. Wanting to spiffy up some, I took it in one hand and lifted it. Hmmm…this should have felt a lot lighter than it did. Laying it back down and unfolding it revealed a good-sized rectangular rice-filled neck pillow. Ah! That explained it.

It also made me think. Many times we could have had a better, easier and more productive day, but instead pack around unneeded, unnecessary weight. It may not be intentional at all, but there it is, making the task a strain rather than simply and easily done.

Negativity can bring us low! We need to keep a watch, be on the alert, and block what is not in harmony with God’s will. He tells us “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” ‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:6-8‬ ‭KJV‬‬. http://bible.com/1/php.4.6-8.kjv

We pick things up unintentionally, unaware even and pack an extra burden. Some things that come to mind that we take on are the stresses of the day, anxieties, fears, what ifs, rejection. We get loaded down by feeling we don’t or can’t measure up, the fear of failure… the list goes on and on. These are added, unneeded loads we carry. They don’t add joy, peace, comfort, grace nor strength to us, but actually the opposite. They drain us, sapping our strength, pulling us down, making life hard. This is not a picture of the victorious life our Heavenly Father wants for us. What He wants us to carry is not difficult! “For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew‬ ‭11:30‬ ‭KJV‬‬. http://bible.com/1/mat.11.30.kjv

It pays to stop and inspect our load every now and then! We are not in this alone. There is help and we need to access and use that help. God tells us to not carry our burdens but throw them onto His broad shoulders and let Him deal! “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” 1 Peter‬ ‭5:7‬ ‭KJV‬‬. http://bible.com/1/1pe.5.7.kjv. We must lay aside some things, cast off some attitudes, choose carefully what we allow to influence us.

Not all that we carry around is bad, but just too much! Do you take on more than you should? When we have too much ‘stuff’ in our hands and our arms are full, we are limited in what we can accomplish, and tasks become far more difficult and time consuming. Some are flat out impossible to do when we are packing that extra load! Just yesterday I had so many bags of groceries, totes, keys and my purse in my hands that I literally had to set some down in order to open the door. All that stuff, those good and wanted items prevented me from access to where I needed to go and from what needed done. I had to lay aside some things and get them later.

Dear Lord, I ask that You reveal to me the unnecessary weights that I am carrying and allowing to settle in my spirit that are not good for me. Help me notice and take care of my attitudes quickly, leaving angst, fear, irritation and dismay behind me. Open my eyes to see what is good and dwell on those things. Show me what is needful for me to do and what is to be left for another day, another person, or just plain left! Thank You for Your tender mercies, grace, wisdom and strength day by day. In Jesus dear name I pray, Amen.

“For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭11:30‬ ‭KJV‬‬

http://bible.com/1/mat.11.30.kjv

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Gifts of Life

It was Good Friday 2016 when our youngest son came home to his family to heal from a surgery that saved him from much illness, pain and misery…and potentially much worse. My heart ached for him thru these past two years…month after month of ever increasing suffering. What a gift this successful surgery has been to our son, his wife and two children, my husband Bob and I as his parents, to his siblings and their families, to his church family, his friends and fellow classmates and yes even to those whose lives he will touch in the future by being a better nurse for having had this experience.  What a beautiful gift being made whole is to so many!

Going back in time, there was another and oh so much greater gift of life given.  It was given on Good Friday over 2000 years ago.  For you. For me. God’s only Son laid down His life for us because He was the only one who could pay the price required for us to be forgiven.

Forgiven of what?  Of our sins.  God is pure and holy.  He cannot look upon sin.  Yet He loved us and wanted a relationship with us.  He actually made us for that purpose!  But when Adam and Eve willfully chose to disobey Him in the Garden of Eden, a curse of sin was passed down on all people to come which blocked us from God. So while we were yet sinners, Christ Jesus, who was not a sinner, gave His life so that all who would accept His gift of forgiveness could be in right relationship with God… all because of what Jesus did.  A GIFT … to make us whole.

Oh, the heart of the Father!  With mind-boggling love He loved us!  And oh the love of His Son!   He willingly, knowingly not only suffered, but DIED so we might receive the gift… a FREE GIFT … of forgiveness.  It cost Jesus everything.  It hurt the Father horribly.  But their love that looked beyond their pain, gave us this opportunity to love and be loved by God.

Let’s talk about gifts for a bit.  A gift is something given (obviously), but think about this: it also must be received, or it does not belong to the one intended to own it.  It must transfer from the giver to the receiver.  The giver can hold out the gift to give it away, but if the one intended to get the gift does not take the gift, the transfer didn’t happen and the gift was not received.

Have you received God’s gift?  Have you admitted you need a Savior to remove the curse of sin from your life?  It is not something you chose to have…just like my son did not choose the illness that came upon him… but there it was.  Sin is imposing its’ rule over you and forcing pain on you that you don’t have the ability to get rid of, no matter what you do.  The curse is on you, but wait!  The gift is here for you, ready–“just for the taking”!

What if my son had refused having surgery?  What if the surgery was scheduled, the nurses, anesthesiologist and surgeon were standing by ready to start the life-changing surgery, but he said,  “No thanks, I’ll pass.  Not interested.  I don’t need help from any doctor.  I know I can expect increasingly worse pain until I’m debilitated for the rest of my life, but that’s ok.  I’m good.”

Will you receive it?  Don’t make Jesus death for your freedom from the curse be for nothing!  He was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities.  He bore our sorrows and sicknesses so we might be free from them.  For what?  To be rejected, spurned, treated as if it was nothing?   That is what rejecting salvation does.  It dooms us to a life without hope and a hopeless eternity without God.  It is an automatic choice of death and damnation.

Rather, choose the gift offered! If you have not already, please pray this prayer with me. “Lord, I’ve done wrong.  I have sinned and need forgiveness.  I believe you are the Son of God, and I believe you shed your blood and died for the forgiveness of my sins.  I believe you rose again on the Third Day and are alive in heaven.  I accept Your gift of salvation and thank you for coming into my heart. Be my Lord and Savior I pray.  In Jesus Name and with thanks I pray.  Amen.

Oh what boundless love!!! How GREAT God is! Amazing, Ever-loving, never-abandoning us — the true lover of our soul has Given Us Eternal Life!!! What now? Read His Word, Talk to God (He knows your heart, so share it freely with Him…no regrets, just joy of forgiveness!) Get into a Bible-believing church family and grow strong in your spirit. Share the good news of this awesome, FREE gift with others!