Do you have a trouble suitcase? A place you carry all your troubles and cares that becomes so heavy and burdensome, you can barely go on? Is casting all your cares on God and leaving them there, something you have a problem doing?
It is for me. And apparently, it was for Corrie Ten Boom as well. In her book, God is My Hiding Place, she tells the story of a time she spoke about her trouble suitcase in a church in Tokyo shortly after World War II.
As an object lesson, she carried a heavy suitcase into the room where she spoke. She struggled to lift the suitcase, and placed it on top of a table. She said she was carrying the heavy trouble suitcase, and mentioned her heart was like that until she read 1 Peter 5:7, which reminded her to cast all her cares on the Lord.
To demonstrate casting her cares on God, Corrie opened her trouble suitcase. One by one, she removed each item. With each item, she mentioned a particular care, burden, or worry she carried. In the end of her demonstration, she closed the empty suitcase. She pretended to walk out of the room, suitcase swinging lightly at her side.
After the meeting ended, Corrie refilled her suitcase with all the items she removed and left the building.
While she was in Berlin years later, a man approached Corrie. He was in the church where she spoke in Tokyo. He told her every time he heard her name, he thought of her trouble suitcase.
Corrie was flattered. She told the man she was glad he remembered what she said that night.
To that the man replied, “It wasn’t what you said that I remember. It was what you did. After you finished, you put all the objects back in the suitcase and walked out just as burdened as when you came in.”
Oh, my goodness. We do that, don’t we?
We empty our trouble suitcase at the feet of Jesus, then we repack that suitcase right back up, and walk away carrying the same heavy weight we came in with. We might come to Jesus in the morning, tell him all the things which weigh heavy on our heart; all the hurts, troubles, concerns, problems, and worries. Often, though, thoughts of those concerns sneak back into our mind before the day ends.
Sometimes they don’t sneak, they rush in like a torrent intent our sweeping us clear away.
At the end of Corrie’s devotion, she suggested those of us who unpack our trouble suitcase and hand over our heavy concerns only to pick them back up again, ask the Holy Spirit to teach us how to pray. Teach us how to leave those burdens in God’s faithful care once and for all.
We know Jesus is able to take all our burdens and lighten our load. He tells us to come to him, all who are weary, and he will give us rest.
Yes, Jesus will carry our burdens, but we need to bring them to him. When we do, we need to stop grabbing them back.
How about you? What do you do to keep from repacking your trouble suitcase once you’ve emptied it at Jesus’ feet?
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Let him have all your worries and cares, for he is always thinking about you and watching everything that concerns you. 1 Peter 5:7
You can find my March Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.
I wish you well.