Monday, September 14, 2020

Leave the Heavy Loads - Martin Wiles

He told them to take nothing for their journey except a walking stick—no food, no traveler’s bag, no money. Mark 6:8 NLT

Fear caused me to pack heavily; experience taught me to pack lightly.

For a number of years, I hiked and backpacked in the mountains. Day hikes required only a small pack with snacks, water, and emergency equipment. Overnight hikes required more forethought.

Since I’m the sort of guy who likes to plan for unforeseen events, my backpack always weighed too heavy. The first backpacking trip my daughter and I made witnessed two packs far heavier than necessary, ruining the experience.

As I gained more experience, I learned to leave some things behind and to manipulate other items so they’d weigh less. This made the trip more enjoyable, and I discovered I could live with less than I had imagined. I also learned to trust God to care for me instead of trying to imagine everything that might happen and then prepare for it.

I never got my pack to weigh what thru-hikers’ backpacks do. I suppose I just didn’t have enough trust to leave behind as much as they do.

As Jesus sent the twelve disciples on a gospel-spreading mission, He told them to take only a walking stick and the clothes on their backs. Those they stayed with on their journey would provide for them. Somewhat like me taking nothing but a hiking stick on a backpacking trip and depending on fellow backpackers to feed me and give me a tent to sleep in. A scary scenario.

Clothes, tents, food, and hygiene items aren’t the only things that can weigh us down. Fear, anxiety, unforgiveness, and worry come to mind—unwelcome bedfellows who encumber life’s backpack and weigh down my shoulders. 

Fortunately, we don’t have to carry them around. God doesn’t give us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. Jesus says we shouldn’t worry about tomorrow because today has enough troubles of its own—and He’s in control of tomorrow. Nor should we let anxiety ruin our lives. Rather, we should give our concerns to God who, in return, will give us peace beyond our understanding. He will also give us the power to forgive those who wrong us.

Don’t carry around loads God never intended for you to bear. Leave the heavy loads with God and travel lightly.

Prayer: Father, give us the faith and courage to leave behind the things You never intended for us to carry.

Tweetable: Is your load too heavy? 

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