I like to use a backpack to keep all my essentials in, from diapers and snacks to Chapstick and hair ties. I like to be prepared. But, sometimes, I go too far and take everything but the kitchen sink. Leaving the house with this backpack is sometimes a chore because it is so heavy and it hurts my back, shoulders, and it slows me down. What can I say? I sometimes go overboard!
One day I was heading out of the door to run some errands with my children. Here I was with one kid in my arms, one holding my hand, and the backpack on my back. I was groaning as I was going out the door, and my oldest saw me struggling. He said, “Hey Mom, can’t you take anything out so it’s not so heavy?” I got to the van to unload the kids and to get everyone in their car seats. I was pondering that question my son asked. I unzipped the backpack and was rummaging through my Mary Poppins bag. “Mom you don’t need my toys in your bag! And you don’t need so many clothes!” I sat there with my bag sprawled out on the passenger side of the van, thinking about how silly it was to carry all this stuff in my bag. “You are right, I don’t need to hold on to all of this stuff in my bag!” As I sat there with a plastic bag, to sort through what was necessary, the backpack became lighter and it was finally bearable.
God used that situation to teach me a lesson. I had been praying earlier to God to help me with some bitterness that I allowed to creep into my heart. I was feeling very discouraged and down. As I was thinking back to my prayer, and how I was feeling earlier, I said out loud, “It is pretty silly to carry around the heavy stuff that I don’t need.” It was the hurt and my heart was heavy because my flesh wanted to hold onto that bitterness. It was weighing down on me, and I could feel the pain it was causing me. God told me to unpack that hurt, bitterness, and unforgiveness. I wrestled with the idea. I wanted to hold onto that weight that was hurting me—I wasn’t finished wallowing in it! But at that moment I prayed, and I felt a releasing. I gave it to Jesus. I forgave and I unloaded. God showed me that it is so much easier to get around without all those heavy feelings weighing me down.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.” (Hebrews 12:1, NLT)
Do you have that same kind of weight holding you down? Do you need to unpack some of those feelings as well? Sometimes it is not as easy as the situation I went through—sometimes it can be a lengthy process that you will wrestle with. But, if there is one thing I have learned, it is that the weight that you carry around is not worth it. Share your heart with Jesus and depend and lean on Him, and not your own understanding. Jesus is always willing to forgive, and love you no matter what you are carrying!