Bringing Your Baggage Safely Home
God is acquainted well with every square inch of the baggage we each carry. My baggage is the same as her baggage is the same as your baggage and so on. Someone’s baggage may look more beautiful on the outside, but on the inside it is still filled with sin.
I was dusting off some vintage luggage I purchased some years ago to go with the travel theme that now competes with the bird theme in my home. Occasionally the old beauties get borrowed for showers and weddings. They are pretty awesome, I must confess.
When I dust them, I wonder where they have been. Did they stay in a closet requiring the occasional dusting as they do in my home, or did they hold treasures from afar? Did they see the world with their owners and acquire those scuffs from an airport conveyor belt or a thoughtless baggage handler having a bad day? Maybe their owners were road warriors driving Route 66 in an old Bel Air convertible. Whose name and address was written on that little piece of paper on the luggage tag before its new address was my home? Did it ever get lost in its travels? Oh, if those satin hounds tooth pockets in my treasured suitcases could talk!
As my mind continued to ponder during this necessary task of dusting, my heart was also pricked about a time I made a less than gracious comment to my hubby about someone we were genuinely wanting to help: “Man, that gal is carrying a lot of baggage.” There it was, in my heart and out of my lips. Just like that.
Thankfully, my Beloved helped me to reroute my arrogant thinking. God is so kind to have given someone who lovingly shepherds my heart. He looked at me and said, “Sweetie, let’s not forget, we all have baggage. Her baggage just looks different than your baggage in some ways. Some ways it is the same. But thankfully, God and the Gospel are much more powerful than the baggage we carry.”
Let’s Face It, We All Have Baggage
There is no one that has escaped the curse of the Fall. We all carry with us the mark of Adam, the first human sinner, within our hearts. We are filled with our own sin; we are also surrounded by it no matter where we came from or where we go.
You see, in respect to all mankind, my baggage is the same as her baggage is the same as your baggage and so on. We all started off on this journey with the heart of Adam. Someone's baggage may look more beautiful on the outside, but on the inside it is still filled with sin.
But let’s unpack this a bit more, shall we?
Unpacking Life’s Influences and Experiences
While we all carry with us the weight of original sin. We also carry with us life experiences, choices, and influences:
Tucked away in this baggage we also carry with us “heart compartments” filled with innumerable, often quite memorable, “issues of life” (Proverbs 4:23). God in His providential love for us has allowed these moments, choices, and influences to take place in order to mold us and shape us for His purposes, which leads to His main purpose: His glory.
God gave Jeremiah a beautiful illustration showing His heart for unrepentant Israel and how He has the right to mold and shape us for His purposes as I mentioned in my last article.
God Uses Baggage
Like Israel, God has ordained and fashioned our lives very carefully and specifically. He is also acquainted well with every square inch of the baggage we each carry. Even the tiniest “heart pocket” we carry is known intimately by our Creator, no matter how cleverly we think we may tuck those thoughts and sins within our baggage:
Now, suppose we regarded all the scuffs, all the wear and tear of this life we grip so tightly to and hide from others so skillfully more as opportunities to open up and share our comfort and hope in Christ through this life’s journey?
The load we carry ourselves and for others can be quite heavy, dear sister. But we are to be carrying our so-called baggage to a place where we are sure to receive help. We are to carry it to the throne of grace:
Paul continued in 2 Corinthians Chapter 1 giving an example of the baggage he and his companions were carrying as burdensome and perilous, that it was beyond their strength and it was clear they were to place their trust in God who was their hope:
Like Paul, we are to set our hope on THE. ONLY. ONE. who will deliver us. God is capable of raising the dead to life; He can most certainly carry our life’s burdens, a.k.a baggage:
Paul also mentioned along with God’s help was also given to them on their journey in Asia through the prayers of the saints. This is so very important. No matter what someone’s baggage may look like, we all need prayer!
Bringing it Home
Just as my vintage luggage had a tag that once carried someone’s home address on it in case it somehow lost its way, we also must be able to take our baggage safely to a place of practical life application so that God receives all the glory:
- Are you confessing your sins to others, so they may come alongside you, or are you stuffing it in your baggage, becoming more and more weighed down? (James5:16; Psalm 32:1-5)
- Do you model the Gospel by gladly bearing the burdens of fellow image bearers? (Gal 6:1-2) Do you see someone carrying a heavy load and run the other way, or do you bring care to their weary soul?
- Are you taking your needs boldly before the throne of grace? Are you praying for the burdens others are bearing?
Dr. D. Martin Lloyd Jones’ wonderful book, Spiritual Depression says: