I have a confession to make, I love bags. Not the couture bags and purses, I mean the “working” ones you put stuff in and carry along with you. If I had to rank them I think I would put backpacks first, followed closely by messenger bags. After that I think I’d put the poly-bags that stores commonly sell so you can carry home your goodies. I don’t know what it is about them. I just like the idea of putting my stuff into something that contains them.
Right now I am using a messenger bag my husband bought for me. In it I keep a pad of paper, a Nalgene bottle of water, a pencil pouch, snack bars, and books. Lots and lots of books. I bring it with me wherever I go: work, church, trips, anywhere I may have a moment or two to read.
I found my self thinking, what else do I carry around with me? Do I carry regret for the things I didn’t do correctly (by whoever’s standard)? Do I carry shame for the things I did that I know were wrong? What about anger or resentment toward those who have hurt me or harmed me? Do I carry burdens for the situations beyond my control?
I need to put these things down at Jesus’ feet. They wear on my body and my spirit, making me tired, worn out and even depressed. Instead I need to pick up something else.
I need to pick up Joy. Grace. Mercy. Forgiveness. Love. Understanding. Patience. Self-Control. By putting down the heavy things and allowing Jesus to carry them, I will find myself with empty, open and available hands to pick up the Joy.
Jesus blessed us with this exchange in Matthew 11:29, 30, “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” It is my favorite verse in many ways. We can exchange the heart-heavy items for the light-hearted items when we ask Jesus into our lives. This can lead to such freedom.
So come to the Cross. Meet Jesus. Exchange His yoke for yours. Walk away carrying Joy, Love, Grace and Hope.