Have you ever taken a vacation, only to arrive at the destination with the realization that you packed way too many items for the length of your stay?  Or did you ever try to carry an entire load of groceries into the house in one load, just to avoid making a second trip?  Perhaps the burden you carry is not a literal one, but a figurative one.  Do you ever stuff your emotions into a bag and then carry them around, unsure of what you should do with them?  When we find ourselves toting around extra baggage, we need to learn to trust God.  We need to trust God and ask Him to bear our burdens.  We simply need to let go.

Last October, I had the opportunity to attend my first Women of Faith conference in Tampa, Florida.  This was one of the most uplifting experiences of my life, and it came at the perfect moment.  This event allowed me to clearly see the purpose-filled future that God wanted me to enjoy, as opposed to that one sorrow-filled night, which I had focused on far too long.  I thank God for this renewal of joy, as it enabled me to let go of some of the emotional baggage I had been holding onto for over a year.  Of course, that one tragic night continued to haunt me, even after this time of fellowship and worship.  There were things I still held onto, even after letting go of a few burdens along the way.

Several weeks later, I was blessed to be in attendance at the first “Shelter of God’s Promises” tour led by Sheila Walsh.  During the concert, Sheila sang a song titled, “Let Go.”  In this very moment, I felt God speaking to my heart, telling me that it was time to let go of all of the emotional baggage that I had stored up since my Mom passed away.  Every word spoken seemed to be articulated just for me.  The messages brought forth brought to mind the verse in the Bible that says, “Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you” (Psalm 55:22 NIV).  I knew that this was the moment that I would give my burdens to the Lord.  Not only that, but I was determined to give them away and never pick them back up again.  God ministered to my heart, giving me calm assurance that this was the day that I would begin my journey back to true, unconstrained joy.

Later in the day, Sheila asked how we would feel if our friends and family could see a movie of our life, including every single detail.  She proceeded to say that God has seen our movie.  I began to think about the fact that the burdens I had been carrying around were seemingly pointless.  While I had kept the majority of them hidden from many people, God knew about every single one of them, whether big or small.  He knew that I was carrying these burdens around.  He longed to help me carry them.  He wanted me to release these burdens, and He waited patiently for me to finally decide to let go of the things that had been weighing me down.

Imagine you are planning to run a race.  But, there is one catch.  You are the only one competing in the race who must wear 500 pounds of baggage on your back for the duration of the race.  It is likely that you would not have the stamina needed in order to finish the race.  Your body would not be able to withstand this additional weight, eventually collapsing under the load.  The emotional baggage we carry is much like the extra baggage required to run this race.  Inevitably, we cannot carry our burdens alone and win the race.  Instead, we must cast aside our burdens, so we can endure to the end.

In Hebrews 12:1-2 (ESV), we read, “let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith…”  Notice that the author of this scripture did not say to “lay aside” a few weights, but to “lay aside every weight.”  Many times, it may be easy to let go of a small burden.  Or it may even be effortless to release two or three pieces of “baggage” that we carry around inside.  But, in order to live a life according to God’s will, we need to look to Jesus and let go of all of our burdens.

I encourage you today to let go of your emotional, physical, mental, financial, and any other burdens that you may be carrying around.  God can do the same thing for you that He did for me.  He will take your burdens, every single one of them, and allow you to enjoy living your life.  Talk to the Heavenly Father.  He wants to hear your story.  Give your burdens to Him, and let go of the things that have been weighing you down.  He will reveal to you the life of perfect peace and abounding joy that you have been searching for so long.  And the best part?  All you have to do is to simply let go.
In Christ’s Love,