This past Sunday, I woke up so stressed. It was about 1:30 in the morning. I laid in bed tossing and turning until I gave up about 2:30. The list was running rampant in my mind – you know, ‘the list.’ Ridiculous, life-sucking, energy-draining list, most of which we can’t do anything about… except lose sleep.
On the way to church at last, the list was still there, and I just felt so heavy. The closer we got, these words started coming to my mind… and I jotted the first ones down on the bulletin and they just kept coming afterwards.
Have you ever walked in church, your mind racing, and before you leave, it’s as if the preacher read your mind, and wrote his sermon just for you? Or they choose a song that just fills your soul? I believe God’s hand is in it all.
At the Altar
She drove to church on Sunday,
a week of burdens on her mind.
Was it the from week before or the week ahead,
it didn’t matter, they were the heavy kind.
It was a like a suitcase she brought with her,
and could not leave behind,
these thoughts all packed up tight inside,
that overtook her mind.
She tried to leave it in the car
but it wouldn’t leave her side,
she found her pew, and as she sat,
her anxiety she tried to hide.
The preacher spoke and at first
she did not hear all he had to say,
the weight of the case was bearing down,
as she wondered how she’d get through the day.
Eventually, as if right on time,
the preacher’s words started moving her heart,
it was as if they were written just for her,
such a peace they started to impart.
The music lingered in the air,
the words moving her heart so,
and as they did, as grace embraced her,
she knew the suitcase had to go.
When the last prayer was said, she started to leave,
and looked at the suitcase she brought,
she decided to leave it at the altar,
she’d found a peace she didn’t know she sought.
So she laid it down, and walked outside,
full of hope and lighter than before,
she never looked back at the suitcase,
it wasn’t hers to carry anymore.
Burdens can be that way.
Worries can be that way.
Heavy, like a suitcase full of rocks.
Sometimes it feels as if it’s chained to our wrist, and we can’t put it down…
and sometimes, as crazy as this sounds, it almost feels like we’re afraid to let it go.
But whether we worship at a church or by a river somewhere,
we have to set it down if we want to live. I mean truly live in the lightest way.
We have to open it up, lay the rocks at the altar, or throw them in the river.
Empty it, and then leave it there.
Not carry it with us only to be filled again …
and don’t look back.
And I know, I know, I know from experience,
this is easier said than done.
I’ve had so many suitcases, I could advertise for Samsonite, but…
I just keep emptying them, leaving them, and the grace He gives me gets sweeter every time.