By Amy at Make Me a Mary
Today I am booked for my first ever speaking engagement. I know I'm called to do this sort of thing, but I definitely do not feel qualified. When a sweet pastor's wife called to invite me to speak at their church's mother-daughter luncheon, I asked if there was going to be a theme. She said "purses". I have to say I was stumped. After we hung up, I prayed, "Lord, help me!", and then I waited for a bit.
I started thinking about my purse, and then I thought about how junky it always gets. Most of the time I'm ashamed for anyone to see inside of it. This bothers me, yet I continue to carry all my junk around, no matter how heavy it gets or how much it hurts my shoulder.
I often look in my purse and actually start clenching my jaw. How ridiculous to let the contents of my purse stress me out in this way! But sometimes I almost feel like the mess inside my purse runs parallel to the state of affairs in my messy life. So then I started thinking about all my baggage, and I thought of the many burdens I tend to carry. And then He gave me a scripture...
1 Peter 5:6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, 7 casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you
I thought back over the things I've been through, and how the Lord has used every ounce of pain for my good, to refine me and to draw me into His presence. And I thought about how the load I carry these days is much, much lighter than it used to be. Then I started to ponder what has made the difference for me. I thought about how I'm learning to love Him more. I'm learning to hear Him speak. I'm learning to live by His grace. I'm learning to cling to His word. I'm learning to cast my cares upon Him and let Him carry my baggage for me. He has cleaned out my purse, and it feels amazing.
I've been asked to provide some encouragement to these women I'm speaking to by reminding them to look to God in the good times and bad. As I've continued to pray about this event today, the Lord has given me a list of things we can do to "clean out our purses" and unload all the baggage that so weighs us down.
- Trust in the sovereignty of God (Isaiah 55:8-9)
- Make Jesus our central focus (John 15:5)
- Walk in the Spirit (Romans 8:5-6)
- Spend time with Him (Luke 10:38-42)
- Forget the past and ask Him for a new start (Isaiah 43:18-19)
I know none of this really has anything to do with purses, but I see the symbolism here. If we work toward doing all these things, we really don't have to bear the weight of our burdens anymore. We can trust that God is in control. We can shift our focus from all the things of the world to the only One that matters. We can learn to walk in love rather than carry the baggage that comes from poor choices made while in the flesh. We can grow deeper spiritually through time spent with
Him rather than wasting time on things that pull us away
from Him. And perhaps the most freeing of all, we can put all the painful parts of our past to rest and look ahead to a bright future with the One Who brings hope to the hopeless.
He wants us to cast our cares upon Him. He wants to carry my purse, even though it's way too heavy. He wants to carry your purse, too---whether it's an over-stuffed suitcase or a keychain wallet that hardly weighs a thing. What amazing love!
Please pray for me and for the women I'm speaking to around lunch time today!