I assume we all know and experienced struggles and hardships in life, but some people carry heavier backpacks than others, maybe even from childhood… their pain or sorrow buried so deep in that bag that they don’t even realize that carrying that load has an immediate effect on how they live their life. They can be so accustomed to that burden that they have come to think that the heaviness they feel is just part of who they are. Do you know such a person? Some of them even try to avoid feeling the pain and sorrow by partying, drinking or taking drugs, and of course that will only make things worse.
The load we carry around
But not all of us choose such drastic ‘remedies’ to avoid the pain in life and yet… our backpack can be a burden too. Can I ask you an upfront question? What load is in the backpack you carry around in life? All the pain you try not to face. It can be a deep trauma… then I would suggest not to keep it to yourself but seek help from someone you can trust, someone who knows the Lord and helps you to be restored. But what about other heaviness that has an effect on our life? Maybe a broken relationship, unanswered expectations or deep disappointment, unresolved issues which robbed us from our joy and passion in life. If that’s what is hidden in our backpack, we can easily start doubting people or even our faith in God, maybe resentment enters in and eventually bitterness. Then we can have a tendency to withdraw and observe others in a cynical way. By the way, do you know that cynicism actually is ‘frozen’ pain?! Pain which was not attended to. When unaddressed it has a negative effect on our life and bitterness makes it even worse. A long time ago I heard a preacher say: ‘Bitterness is like poison in a cup. Every day you take a sip and hope the other one is dying because of it.’ I’ve always kept that in mind.
Put down your backpack
Bitterness is poison! That’s why the warning in Hebrews 12:15 is so important: ‘See to it that no one falls short on the
grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.’ It doesn’t have to be that way. We don’t have to let the past ruin our future. Yes, for a while it is possible to pretend things never happened; we put it in our bag and try not to think about it. But one way or the other it will come to the surface. You don’t have to wait until that happens.
When Jesus was still on this earth He saw the crowd and was filled with compassion. Full of love He said to the people:
‘Come to me, all you are weary and burdened and I will give you rest’ Matthew 11:28
‘Come to me, all you are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.’ And His compassion is the same for you and me who live today. We don’t have to be burdened with heavy backpacks. We can come to Jesus and put the bag down at His feet, unload everything that’s in it. No need to be ashamed because He knows what is in our bag, in our heart. He invites us to give it to Him. What a trade! We give Him our load and He gives us His peace and rest.
Make the trade
And you know what? When we give Him all that heavy stuff, all the sin and pain, the cynicism and bitterness, He washes us white as snow because He carried it for us on the cross. It’s gone, done away with. We have a brand-new future ahead of us. No one has greater love. What a wonderful gift.
So please, don’t hesitate to come to Him if you are weary and burdened. He is waiting to take the load out of your backpack. Just come to Him.
Read also: Rest time is not wasted time.