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Thursday, 26 June 2014

Baggage, or blessing?

Baggage has been on my mind quite a bit, over recent months.   First of all, as we prepared our Motherwell house to go on the market, I had to explain to the Estate Agent that the loft, while having provided two bedrooms for my daughters while they lived with their mum and me, the house could not be advertised as having those two bedrooms.  This was the instruction given by the architect when I wanted to convert the loft, almost twenty years ago.  He explained that the space that I wanted to use as a stairwell would not allow for a stairway that met all of the current regulations.  It would be either too steep, or too narrow.  Accordingly, I was advised, I could only advertise a "floored loft with permanent access", and call it "baggage storage space"!  Needless to say, my daughters were not amused to discover that they were merely baggage!

Earlier this week, we travelled back to France.  With the house on the market, we had to empty everything that we were not prepared to leave.  We had borrowed a friend's baggage trailer, and anyone familiar with the song "Granny Fraser's flitting, fae Aboyne tae Aberdeen" would understand why that song was going through my mind! 

Today, I managed to get almost all of the items that we had brought across, and that hadn't already been stored in the static, into the garden shed that we built two years ago.  It was quite a job - and I already know that, when I start work on completing the balustrade around the terrasse, next week, there will be at least one tool that I will require that will be at the back of the shed!  Such is the well-known 'Murphy's Law'!

However, I started to think of all of the baggage that I carry around in my life.  The regrets; the hurts; the complaints.  They are things that do nothing for me except weigh me down, and hold me back.  The writer of the Letter to Hebrew disciples of Jesus wrote: "Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the Pioneer and Perfecter of our faith, Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God." (Heb 12:1-2). 

And, of course, there is no need for me to bear that burden.  That same Jesus said, "Come to Me, all who labour 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." (Matt 11:28-30).

Are you burdened as you read this post?  Are you weary, and bowed down under the weight of your own sinfulness, and sin?  Then why don't you come to the Saviour Who, alone, can provide cleansing and salvation.  John writes: "... if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin." (I John 1:7 - worth reading the full context!).   That's an amazing statement!   In the context of this post, it means, quite simply, that all of my baggage was dealt with at the cross - as long as I don't keep lifting it up again!

John Bunyan, in Pilgrim's Progress, writes: "So I saw in my dream, that just as Christian came up to the cross, his burden loosed from off his shoulders, and fell from off his back, and began to tumble, and so continued to do till it came to the mouth of the tomb, where it fell in, and I saw it no more. Then said Christian with a happy heart, 'He hath given me rest by His sorrow, and life by His death.' Then he stood still awhile to look and wonder; for it was very surprising to him that the sight of the cross should thus ease him of his burden. He looked, therefore, and looked again, even till the springs that were in his head sent the water down his cheeks.
Now, as he stood looking and weeping, behold, three Shining Ones came to him, and saluted him, with 'Peace be to thee.' So the first said to him, 'Thy sins be forgiven thee'; the second stripped him of his rags, and clothed him with a change of garments; the third also set a mark on his forehead, and gave him a roll with a seal upon it, which he bade him look on as he ran, and that he should give it in at the heavenly gate; so they went their way." 

Baggage, or blessing - the choice is yours!

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