These are my bags of burdens; I take them with me wherever I go. Their weight is so much, but I just can’t put them down. These burdens are a part of me I think. They are who I am, they define me, if I don’t have them, then I have nothing to define me.
The burden is so great at times; it begins to pull me over. I’m hunched forward; the bundles of burdens are piling higher. They choke me at the neck; they’re blocking my ears. I can’t hear… I can’t turn my head to see anything, when I try the burdens get in the way. They are all I can see.
… Childhood hurts… divorce… rejection… death… widowhood… sin… shame… alcohol… failure… ugly… guilt… cancer… lying… fear… guilt… murder… courts… money… laziness… confusions… mourning… sadness.
There are so many, I can’t stand any longer. The bags of sins and burdens have me on my knees crawling nowhere. I know there’s a place where I can lay my burdens. They told me it was here somewhere. Just go there and lay your burdens down. Lay them at the foot of the cross.
But I’ve been to that cross before and I don’t think there was enough room there for all my burdens because I had to keep some with me. But I’ve heard there’s a cross, a place where I’m told I can leave every bag and burden there. So I just keep crawling and dragging them with me. The load is getting so heavy. I feel like I’m drowning. I can’t breath anymore; they’re choking the life out of me. I’ve been carrying these bags for 40 years. They are too much. But who can I get to help me. Everywhere I look, it seems that everyone has more than their share of bags to carry. But I keep hearing the muffled voice tell me to just lay them at the foot of the cross. Please someone help me I need to find the right cross. I’m on my stomach now, clawing my way down the road. I have to find the cross they told me just to leave my burdens at the foot of the cross. The pain of carrying this load is excruciating. I don’t know how much longer I can carry it. But they told me to just keep looking… find that cross.
They tell me that He went to the cross for me? How can that be? Why would He take all my burdens, all my sins? Who am I to Him? I’m worthless… I’m useless… I’m unlovable… that’s what they all said to me all these 40 years.
But they keep saying this man Jesus wants my burdens that He will take them from me.
I have carried all this baggage for so long that I can now only crawl on my knees… and they are bloody and bruised. The load only gets heavier. There are so many bags and burdens I carry that they are choking me at the neck. I can’t hear… only the muffled sounds… I can’t see but straight ahead of me.
I weep and I cry and I beg… please someone… anyone… please help with all this baggage… please I’m begging.
With all my energy spent on carrying these burdens for so many years, I collapse. I give up… I surrender… It’s all too much for me. I can’t go on. I cannot carry these burdens alone any longer. Jesus, if it’s true what they say about you, then please help me… I am a complete and broken failure… with that I collapse in exhaustion.
What is this I feel? A hand on my shoulder? Who is it? Why are you here? What do you want from me? There is nothing more inside me… I have nothing more that I can give.
No words come from this stranger. The only thing I feel is the weight as each bag of burden is lifted off me. I’m confused… Wait! That’s my bag of shames. I must keep that one. No one can have that one. I need to keep that one close to me. I protest and say No! But that stranger removes it and lays it down.
No No, not again! Not that one too. That’s my bag of failures, that one is mine to keep. No one would want my failures; surely I need to keep that one so that I can look in it from time to time and remind myself of what a mess I’ve made of my life. But without a word, this stranger removes that one too and lays it down. My protests grow quieter now.
One by one He takes each bag of burden from me and lays them down. I can begin to see light again. I can begin to hear clearly again, the aching in my shoulders and back is easing.
Another bag removed… and another and another. Who is this man that so willingly takes each of my burdens why would He care so much about me?
The load is very light now just a bag or two left. No really it’s okay. You’ve removed so much of the burden already… I’m fine now. You don’t need to take all of them. I don’t mind hanging on to a few of them.
My protests go unnoticed as He removes the last two bags of burdens from me. The release of all of the weight is overwhelming. I don’t know what to do or how I should feel. For more than 40 year I’ve carried all that.
Slowly I rise up to my knees. The light around me is so bright I can barely see. Like staring directly into the sun. I squint to see this man who took all my burdens from me. I need to know where He put them. After I’m rested for just a while, I will need to gather them together so that I can carry them again.
I kneel with my head bowed down; I feel His hand on my shoulder. I feel His other hand take mine and urge me to stand. I ache… I hurt… but slowly and gently He guides me to my feet. I open my eyes and look around and I see them. All my bags of burdens piled high. My eyes begin to focus a bit more…. it’s getting clearer now.
But wait! No! No it can’t be. Yes it is! It’s the cross they told me about; that cross where I can leave my burdens. That place where everyone’s burdens are welcome. No questions asked.
Suddenly fear and terror strike my heart… No! No! This man… this man is Jesus. He knows what I’ve done in secret; He will surely condemn me. The fear and terror rise up. This Jesus holds my hands. He is warm and loving and serene. His peace begins to fill my heart. Again, a bit of fear rises up in me. Are you sure Jesus? Are you sure you want this wretched soul?
Deep inside me I hear a voice.
Yes Lord… yes I’ve heard Your name before.
Yes, of course I believe that God sent You here to pay for my sins.
Yes Lord, yes I really do believe that You took my sins to the cross.
Yes Lord… yes I believe… yes I believe… yes Lord… Yes Jesus… yes You are my Lord.
Deep inside my heart His peace begins to engulf my being. Peace… joy … contentment… trust… patience… gentleness… love… His love.