See that orange backpack? Just your common drawstring backpack in so many ways, and yet… not quite.
During the day we’ve been filling that backpack with rocks. Sometimes we add one at a time, others a whole handful. Why? Because, for today, those rocks represent our hurt, anger, frustration, sadness, and disappointment. And today we’ve been collecting them.
These orange backpacks have been around throughout the day, wherever we’ve gone. Just kind of tagging along.
But as the day went on each backpack became more noticeable as we added rock after rock.
By evening chapel they were getting quite full and very heavy!
It’s quite a good object lesson about what happens when are full of hurt and the resulting consequence of allowing “un-forgiveness” to reign in our lives.
We may not carry it around physically like the rocks in these orange backpacks but it weighs on us nonetheless. Weighed down by words and actions that have hurt us, disappointments, brokenness and sin. And it can grow to be unbearable.
Tonight I found myself remembering Jesus’ words:
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 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.”
God, in His great love for us, beckons us to bring to him our burdens. In bringing the burdens we cannot bear we are granted relief for our weary souls, restoration for our brokenness, and hope for our weary-worn out spirits.
In Him true forgiveness is found. And it is beautiful, glorious and compelling.
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:32
And I wondered how many times I’ve added (figuratively) rocks to my bag and held onto an attitude of “un-forgiveness” when instead Christ offers me rest. Rest found in forgiveness.
First in the forgiveness found in the saving work of Christ.
Second in the forgiveness God calls me to extend to others.
What are you holding in your bag tonight? What rocks did you add today? What burdens have you been carrying for years?
Tonight, bring all of that to Jesus.