Since the hurricane, there is a big part of me that has felt like my life has been a hurricane. There have been times I have felt like I can’t catch my breath with things that need to be done, and everything that has come up. I have increasingly felt that I was on my way to flat out having a good cryfest if I didn’t find relief soon (but let me tell you sometimes those cryfests feel pretty good). From more travel than normal to solid commitments, doctors’ appointments to circumstances that had to be dealt with that are less than pleasant, and then an event that me to question what I was really willing to risk in following Jesus. Life began to feel a bit overwhelming, well quite overwhelming actually.
I wanted relief. But the God knows the innermost part of me, because He knit me intricately together, met me with love and reminded that He is a good good Father, by showing me in detail of His love for me not only with small details that were significant, but through the actions of a good father. And this love that was poured into my heart, began to restore my overwhelmed soul.
God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
Usually when I rent a car for work, I get the compact or economy car for cost efficiency, but for some reason on a work trip a couple weeks ago, the Rav4 was the cheapest car rental I could find. But when I went up to pick up the Rav4 they had graciously upgraded my rental to a Dodge Durango. I didn’t know much about the Durango, but I knew it was big. And walking up to the vehicle I didn’t know if I would be able to manage it well because of the size. To my surprise, not only was I upgrade, but it was basically a luxury vehicle… leather seats, push button start up, and a knob to switch gears. And much more to my surprise was how easy the Durango was to drive. I felt like this was such a gift.
Well, the surprises kept coming with a specific breakfast food I love that I hardly ever get to have (bisquits and gravy), and then as one of our board members who I consider “fatherly” comes up to me and takes my pink luggage for me along with his own. Now mind you, this was not just any piece of luggage. This was my pink luggage.
We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters.
1 John 3:16
So, there he was carrying my pink luggage through the airport. All the way to the car, and then on the way home, he did the same thing, even forgoing getting to his gate early so he could carry my luggage all the way to the baggage check.
He didn’t care what it looked like, just like God doesn’t care what sin or overwhelming feelings we are carrying. He was just there, dying on a cross, for it all. Even the things that we would qualify as embarrassing (like a grown man lugging a pink piece of luggage through the airport).
This is how God meets us. He meets us in the overwhelming, and in what we would qualify as embarrassing. He meets us in the storms, and provides the rest for our soul that we need with love. He comes along side us and takes the heaviness we are carrying and showers us with His love in a way that speaks to the depth of our soul.
What are you carrying?
Last week I again got to a point where my overwhelming feelings and insecurities got to be pretty heavy. I was in tears over all I was feeling. But I took a drive to the beach with my daughter and decided I needed to take a walk and rid of the heaviness I was feeling and be renewed by His love. On the drive I cried again, I was not even sure if I was crying at this point because of the insecurities or God’s love beginning to work in my heart.
I had a red Sharpie in my car that I took it with me along with my rock that has been in my dashboard for the past two years that says “truth”, and got Olivia situated in her stroller. I went and found another perfect rock. It was rigid, and pretty heavy unlike the rock that had been in my dashboard that was smooth and light.
I went and sat on the pier, and asked God what He wanted to rid me of. I wrote down 3 words with the red Sharpie. And then slowly began to scribble the words out as I declared scripture and truth over myself. “I am in new creation in Christ”. “His blood covers me”.
“Let me carry that for you”
Once I was done, I turned toward the water and threw the heavy rock into the ocean. As I turned around I met the eyes of Olivia, and my little 11-month-old daughter had the biggest smile on her face that I have ever seen. It was like through her eyes and her smile, God was saying “I am proud of you”.
And then I sat again and wrote another word on my smooth and light rock. A word that will always remind me that that in Christ I am a new creation. And with that I felt free by the love of my God, my Father. He took away the things that I don’t like to talk about that heavied my heart, just like my board member carried my pink luggage through the airport.
What would your 3 words be? What would you throw into the ocean? I want to encourage you to reflect on those two questions, and maybe even take a walk by the water with a red Sharpie, and rid yourself of the baggage you have been carrying, so He can renew you with His perfect love.