I was reading in one of my favorite books today and the discussion centered on Proverbs 10:29 "The way of the Lord is strength for the upright."
I love that verse! I always thought about how the Lord strengthens us for the tasks He brought to us. There's so much in life that we need strength for. Especially in this economy, we may need strength for to open the statement of our ever dwindling 401k or even just to find a job that will provide a steady paycheck let alone health care or 401k. We need strength to face the daily battles in life of health or strained relationships, our latest diet or our new year's resolutions, and we certainly need strength as followers of Christ to live in a way that honors God.
But as I was reading this book, the author began to illustrate something she needs strength with. She told about how she's getting older and more forgetful and she travels a lot so she carries a gigantic bag with everything she may ever possibly need, she'll be set for the zombie apocolypse. And then she realizes she needs her cell phone so she goes in search of her cell phone. If you are a woman, you can already picture the scene unfolding as she finds everything from chapstick to her stun gun but no phone, dumps everything out on the floor in search of the elusive contraption and then suddenly realizes she's forgotten what she's looking for. Stop laughing, you've done the same thing yourself! Then moments later her phone rings and guess what...it was in her pocket all along. Frustrated and grumpy is how she now answers her phone and it's all the fault of this enormous purse that she has to lug around. It's larger than she is, it weighs down one side of her body, even makes her walk a little lopsided.
Let's face it! We all have our oversized bags. We've got baggage. Stuff we carry around because we think we'll need to get back to it at some point or we just can't let it go. And boy don't we need strength to lug it around! But just remember, when we're carrying around such weighed down baggage, it's hard to remain upright. Now read the verse again, "the way of the Lord is strength for the upright".
Lay down your baggage, give it to the Lord. Trust that He will help provide what you need in the moment, He will strengthen you for troubles that surround you today, He will guide you where you need to go and you don't need to carry around yesterdays baggage to get there.
Matthew 11:28-30 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
2 Cor 12:9 My grace is sufficient for you, My strength is made perfect in weakness.
As I prepare to start the 21 day Daniel fast with my church, I will choose to lay down my baggage, clean out my bags, allow Him to lighten my load so that I can be upright and allow Him to strengthen my soul.
What are you carrying around with you? What weighs you down? I encourage you to take and leave it with the Lord.
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