God helps us bear our baggage in life

Sunday, February 20, 2011

You'll see almost as many sights walking through the airport as you will at your destination. You'll see moms and dads trying to contain the excitement of first-time fliers who don't understand why they have to take their shoes off and send their teddy bears through the tunnel. There are sleep-deprived businessmen and women conquering the world, balancing coffee in one hand and pulling their luggage with the other. Lovers of every age meandering through the hallways on their way to their first, second, maybe even third or more honeymoons. Good for them.

All the various travelers you'll bump into at the airport share one common trait: They are all carrying baggage. Large and small, carry-on and checked, each air traveler is united with the baggage he or she carries.

In a way the airport highlights what each of us does every day. We carry our baggage from place to place, person to person, occasionally alleviated from it in some ways but always aware of its weight.

Acts 8 introduces to a man who known by his baggage. He is a government official in the service of the queen. His role has afforded him a life of many luxuries. He travels by chariot. He possesses the gift of literacy and understandings of finance. With all of his success and influence, he was still defined by his baggage more than the achievements afforded him. He was a eunuch.

The baggage was great. No matter how many people he would spend the day with, he was always alone and in many ways disposable. He was cut off from any hopes of a legacy. Success hid unknown levels of baggage.

A man named Phillip is brought alongside him. In their conversation he shares the depths that God has gone through to bring wholeness through his son to everyone across the entire face of the earth. Slowly the baggage begins falling away. He asks Phillip: "Why shouldn't I be baptized? Why shouldn't I have my old life buried and a new spiritual life begin?"

The baggage is washed away.

There is no one with too much baggage weighing them down that God cannot remove. His desire is not to load us with baggage but to bring wholeness to our deepest wounds, to restore the broken and bring hope to the ones cut off. God is not a suitcase salesman.

Rob Hurtgen is a husband, father, minister and writer. Read more from him at www.robhurtgen.wordpress.com.

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