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How to lighten your load

 
Posted on 1/28/2022, 1:00 AM

In last week's column, I wrote about our need to lighten our load.

I used the analogy of carrying suitcases. We often carry emotional baggage that weighs us down. I explained that we pack three suitcases in particular with each one having its own weight causing us to become tired and weary. I identified the suitcase of the past which represents regrets. Next, we carry a suitcase of the present, which symbolizes stress. Finally, we carry the suitcase of the future, which translates to anxiety or worry.

For many these suitcases are all carried at the same time. It is no wonder so many individuals are simply downcast in their every day life. I closed last week's column by mentioning that we all need to become light packers. Today, I will enlighten you about how to accomplish that goal.

Step one is to pray. James 5:16 reads, "The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much." Prayer is to your spiritual health what daily exercise is to your physical health. The more you are committed to your prayer life, the more results you will see. Whatever is occupying your mind today, you need to have a little talk with God about it. If it is a concern for you, it is a concern for your Heavenly Father.

Next, I would encourage you to practice perseverance. Body builders don't go to the gym for one hour per week and expect to meet their goals. Likewise, you cannot expect to simply stop in at your local church once per week and expect your spiritual life to be fit. You have to commit to a daily regimen of prayer and Bible study. My guess is that you don't carry your heavy burdens only on a part-time basis. Whatever you are regretting, stressing over, or worrying about is likely to hang over your head every day of your life. You cannot expect relief from a full- time problem with a part- time effort.

I would also ask you to remember God's promises. II Peter 1:4 states, "Whereby are given unto us exceeding and great precious promises." The Bible is filled with promises God has made to His children. When you read those promises, do you think to yourself, "God did that a long time ago…." Let me correct your thinking. The God of the Bible is the same God we serve today. He has not lost a step. He has not aged. He has not lost any power. The God who parted the Red Sea is the same God you have the privilege of talking to today. God loves you just as much as any person you read about in His Word. Just as God intervened to help David slay Goliath, He will intervene to help you empty your suitcases.

Finally, you need to have an attitude of praise. I Thessalonians 5:18 guides us, "In everything, give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ concerning you." When you go to God in prayer about whatever is troubling you, try focusing on God's answer rather than your problem. Try giving God a praise report before you give Him the prayer request. That is faith! Start your prayer with something like this: "Dear Lord I want to praise you and thank you for answering my prayer in accordance to your will. Thank you for taking care of the situation which has brought me regret, stress, and worry." Remember, God already knows your problem. He wants to see if you know He is the solution.

Today is a new day in your life. Picture yourself standing at the edge of a cliff. You have three suitcases by your side. Now, for one last time, pick up each one of them and toss them as far as you can over the cliff. Congratulations! If you follow the four p's that I outlined today, you now are officially a light packer!

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