rocks in the pack

When I was in college, I worked for a Scouting camp in New Mexico. The main activity for the Scouts was hiking and each season thousands of scouts would come explore the Sangre de Christo Mountains.  It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience to work there.

The scouts that would arrive often were with some of their best friends which often led to silly pranks and inside jokes by the time their treks through the mountains were over.

A common prank was to put rocks in the backpack of an unsuspecting hiker, to see how aware he was about the weight he carried with him. Some scouts realized immediately and the rocks were removed. Others would be oblivious of the extra weight until much later, when the pack was opened to retrieve the contents.

A dear one in my life has been carrying rocks in his backpack for years. Rocks that may have been put in his pack by another long ago, but have since been removed. My dear one still walks through life as if the weight is still on his back. The weight has slumped his shoulders, pulling down his spirit, his body, and ultimately- weighing down his very soul.

It doesn’t matter who put those rocks in his pack, what does matter is that Jesus removed the rocks, He removed the whole pack actually when my friend accepted Christ. I have watched the joy ebb right out of this person’s life, leaving a dry shell of what used to be overflowing.

My heart hurts for him. I continue to pray for Jesus to touch his heart, to fill him with the blessings of laughter, joy, peace, and contentment again. Something I saw in him years ago. But until he realized the phantom weight he carries is just that, a memory of what once was, he will never be able to stand tall and straight, as the man of God he truly was made to be.

O Best Beloved, what kind of weight are you carrying? Are they burdens you added to your pack, thinking they were your responsibility to carry? Are they words of cruelty or brokenness spat out by someone who wanted you to feel badly about yourself- when really it was the other person’s issue?

Dear One, turn out your pack at the Cross. Just dump it out, let the dust, the clutter, the junk, and the rocks land in a jumbled pile at Jesus’ feet and leave them there. You heard me, leave them there. 

Jesus has been wanting to carry these burdens for you since before you even knew it was there. Hand them over, take off the backpack, and trust Him to handle their burden (Matthew 11:30).

Trust Him. He will care for you.


About gretchenr17

Wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend. Writer, farmer, fellow sojourner... at every turn I learn a bit more about God's wild mercies.
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