The Upper Room Devotion for Friday, June 16, 2023, was written by Larry Scanlan of Maryland.
6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you in due time. 7 Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you. 8 Discipline yourselves, keep alert. Like a roaring lion your adversary the devil prowls around, looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, steadfast in your faith, for you know that your brothers and sisters in all the world are undergoing the same kinds of suffering. 10 And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, support, strengthen, and establish you. 11 To him be the power forever and ever. Amen.
1 Peter 5:6-11 NRSV
LETTING GO OF BAGGAGE
When I traveled for business, there was one small Midwest airport where a number of times I encountered a frustrating experience. After the doors were securely closed, and while preparing for takeoff on a small propeller airplane, I would see the ground crew pulling checked-in bags from the airplane. Several times I sat in distress as I saw my own luggage being carried from the plane. I would be flying to my destination all right, but my luggage would be left behind.
Eventually, however, I put it all in perspective. The flight crew cared enough for my safety and that of the others on the flight that they checked the weight of the aircraft to make sure the airplane could safely operate. We sometimes want to hold on to our baggage, as if we can control the burdens, worries, and hurts that life brings our way. Today’s scripture verse from Psalm 55 encourages us to unload the burdens that weigh down our spirit and strength because they compromise our ability to effectively navigate life and God’s will for us. Regardless of our circumstances, God is with us and wants to handle the baggage that weighs us down. God wants to take on our cares so that we can live fully for God, serving God’s good purposes.
Jesus reminds us to come to him when we are tired and overwhelmed, so that he might give us rest. Jesus knows that worry and stress can rob us of our joy. The emotional baggage of past hurts impacts and influences the way you interact with the world. Yet, Jesus offers us a way to free ourselves from our heartaches and pains, that we might experience peace. Engaging in a therapeutic process is challenging, but when we mix faith and therapy we can move toward becoming whole. The journey is not easy, but when we place our hands in the hand of Jesus, Jesus will restore, refresh and revive us.
Dear God, thank you for your loving plan of salvation. We give thanks for our Savior who helps to carry our burdens. Amen.
- Larry Scanlan