Friday, August 5, 2011

Baggage Claim


Mark 9:24
Immediately the boy's father exclaimed, "I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!"

That one statement embodies my life's faith journey. There were many influences during childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood that steered me clear of the path God intended for me to take. In that time, I amassed a mountain of baggage labeled "Unbelief". Like Paul before his dramatic conversion, I, too, though indirectly, persecuted Christians; I denigrated them, made fun of their foolish beliefs, and carried on as if sin were a burden for other people to bear. I was above all that, riding my high horse with my nose in the air. Oh, was Satan on a roll! He was surely counting me in his wicked numbers. What the Devil didn't count on was God's intervention.

You can find a detailed account of how the Lord reclaimed me in my January blog entitled "God of the Impossible - Part Three" (you might want to read numbers one and two just for context), so I won't beleaguer that here. Suffice it to say, I became a believer, but I was still toting an unwieldy and unwanted amount of past baggage. Especially at moments when I was on the verge of a spiritual breakthrough, a growth-spurt of faith, Satan would hurl my doubts, my fears, my unbelief smack in my face. I persevered, certain that the Lord would see me through as surely as I knew He had called me, but how I despised this lingering darkness, this bleak reminder of my formerly shallow and bitter existence. How I desired the undiluted, unfettered joy I perceived in other Christians!

It was 25 years from the moment I first believed until the day God claimed the last carry-on bag from my heart. Think about that for a moment - it took me a quarter of a century to let go and finally let God! Believing all the while that He would one day free me in spite of my unbelief, I now look back on a journey worth every struggle, every doubt, and every tear shed along the way. His steadfast love, His boundless mercy, saved this once lost and wretched soul. Alleluia and amen!

"My chains are gone, I've been set free.
My God, my Savior, has ransomed me;
And like a flood, His mercy rains
Unending love, amazing grace." ~ Chris Tomlin

Readings
Psalms 88 or 91, 92
2 Samuel 12:1-14
Acts 19:21-41
Mark 9:14-29

4 comments:

  1. Oh, yes. I "got baggage!" But He knows and is patient!

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  2. one of the challenges we face with our "baggage" is that often times when we throw it away, we throw it ahead of us instead of behind us. what i mean by this is that we don't even realize the baggage we have so we keep throwing it ahead of us on the path of our journey so we stumble on it again and again in the future instead of actually getting rid of it.

    in the context of your post this reminds me of Matthew 16:23 -- "Jesus turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men."

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  3. So true, Linda! It is a struggle for so many. Satan is, indeed, a stumbling block and our focus must be, as Jesus said, on Godly things and not the ways of men.
    Thanks for your input!

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Happy Birthday, Virginia Rose!

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