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Friday, August 17, 2012

Transparent Bag Lady

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden (burdened), and I will give you rest. Matt 11:28 (ESV)

My mom is frequently called the “Bag Lady” at her jobs. Whenever I pick her up it takes a good couple of minutes for her to get situated and in the car because she has so many bags. I often wonder, and I think have even asked a few times what she needs all the bags for. I don’t remember the answer she has given but I gather that the reason could be so she doesn’t forget anything, she brings everything. And yet she still forgets the simple things like her lunch or tags or even keys for work once. But what I noticed the other day is that she reaches out to my kids to help her or if I am in the house for me to grab a bag or two. I do so, sometimes begrudgingly, but only because I can see ways she can condense her need for these bags.
Isn’t that just the opposite of Jesus? He says to us, “Come to me, ALL who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” All we have to do is come! I love that He is not just calling some of us, or the church folk who are always decked out, or the leaders of the church, or even the crazy radical people who get out of their comfort zone quickly to meet someone at the door of God. No, He is calling for everyone. I quickly say that I believe it’s because those of us who know Him intimately can be ministered too and those who don’t know Him can get to know Him while He cares for them. Those who don’t know anything of Him can be introduced and leave with a new friend that sticks closer than any brother! I love that He cares for us just that much… but doesn’t stop there! He also gives us much needed rest when we enter His presence. How many friends or family can you say from the very minute you walked into their presence you felt lighter and much needed rest until you left? Only God can do that for us!
I started talking about my mom and her many bags she carries for a reason. When I have my kids with me to pick her up, they automatically go to her door or into her office to help her with her bags. She sometimes calls for them to help but they are usually already on the way in. There are even sometimes I go in and grab bags I know she is going to take with her, and this takes her by surprise because I don’t say anything, just grab them. What’s my point? God will do the same. We don’t have to ask Him to come and grab bags from us all the time. There are times that He will relieve us even before we cry out for help. And in the times that it’s necessary that we ask Him, it’s usually to help cultivate our communication skills with Him. He also doesn’t want us to just assume, “Oh God’s got it!” in times when we should be crying out. How great is our God!
My questions are what are the bags you need to release and which do you tend to hold on to? Are you going into His presence or just standing at the door waiting for some doorman to come grab the bags for you? And do you recognize when He does take some baggage from you whether you ask or not? Let’s spend a week in His presence, not His doorway, so that we can experience this bag free living He has in store for us! Come to Him!!
Lord, thank You for being an on time God who gives rest to the weary. Just as we say or form our lips to say I can’t take it, You step in and give us much needed rest from our burdens. Lord, I ask that for each person who reads this, You would give them that much needed rest. Whether it is from stress, unemployment, worry, doubt, bills, unproductive relationships, broken hearts, sickness, or whatever their burdens are, that You would give them rest. Allow them to taste and see that You are good. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen!