Imagine a train traveling about 1,000 miles - and the passengers are almost all teenagers! And I was one of them. You say, "You mean they had trains back then?" Yes - they had just been invented. Thousands of us were on our way to this national youth convention on specially chartered trains. And don't you wish you could be a chaperone for something like that?
Our train was traveling all night, and I decided I wanted to beat the morning rush in the bathroom so I got my suitcase and started making my way through one car after another to get to the one that had a men's room in it. Unfortunately, most of the other people on the train were sleeping - in every conceivable position, including various body parts hanging out in the aisle. So here's the picture - dark railroad cars, boy moving down the aisle with a big suitcase in his hand, trying to keep his balance on a speeding train, and bodies hanging out into that same aisle. Bonk! Clunk! Uhh! Many unsuspecting sleepers had a rude awakening that night - and I was very unpopular. Unfortunately, my baggage kept hitting other people!
Well, I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Hitting People With Your Baggage."
That's really not a very nice thing to do. But, sad to say, some of us keep doing what I did that night on the train - unintentionally hitting innocent people with the baggage we're carrying.
Maybe you're carrying a load of stress, or hurt, or frustration, or anger, or worry. It could be that the pain of your past keeps weighing you down. But the problem is that your baggage is hurting other people - who probably don't deserve it! What I did on that dark train that night was really pretty selfish. I had to take care of my needs, no matter how it hurt other people. That kind of choice is always a selfish one. Especially when you consider that the ones we hurt the most are usually the people we love the most.
The problem is - you have no business carrying your baggage! Our word for today from the Word of God comes from Psalm 68:19-20. "Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens. Our God is a God who saves." Who's supposed to be carrying that suitcase full of stress? Your Savior! Who's supposed to be carrying that anger - that frustration? The Christ who invites us to "cast your care on Him because He cares for you" (1 Peter 5:7). And all the pain, all the ugly things that have happened in your past? Isaiah says of Jesus, "Surely He carried our sorrows" (Isaiah 53:4).
But maybe you have somehow failed to surrender that emotional baggage to Jesus your Savior. So you keep carrying it, you keep hitting other people with it - and all it does is alienate people you need, isolate you from others as they try to get out of your way, you kill their joy and infect them with your attitude.
Your Lord isn't asking you to deny that burden - whether it's from years of hurt or just the problems of a bad day. He's asking you to honestly acknowledge your real feelings to Him, and He's saying, "Will you let it be My stress? My hurt? My problem?" Talking to Jesus about it isn't enough - you have to leave it with Him. And how often? "Daily He bears our burdens." At least each new day. It's not yours to fix, to solve, to make happen. Today, will you release the tight grip you've had on your baggage - and surrender it to the Savior who's waiting to do with it what you could never do.
Like a teenage boy I knew on this train once, you've been determined to get where you're going with this big old suitcase in your hand. And too many people are getting hit by it. Wouldn't it be a lot easier without the baggage? Jesus is waiting for you to let it go.