SHE empties her sack
I’m a part of a rare group of people. Or so I’d like to believe. You too, could be a part of this group, if your answer is yes to the following question: Would you purposefully choose to live on the 3rd floor of an elevatorless apartment? Most likely your answer would be NO. But as a proud member of the 3rd floor gang, I scouted the area for top floor apartments, when I began my apartment hunt. Well to be frank I just didn’t want to live under anyone else, so a 2nd story or ranch-style (rare to non-existent) apartment would have made my allegiance to top floor living a little easier.
After a while, scaling the 3 flights of stairs doesn’t become as hard. Your body adjusts to the level of physical effort, and you find yourself at the expert level that I’ve reached where I can hold a conversation on the phone while climbing up the stairs without sounding like I was having an asthma attack. #goals.
The only self-inflicting punishment I now have are on Sundays. Yes, on the Sabbath. This is because I choose to grocery shop and then meal prep on Sundays as a part of my weekly routine. That means the meat, produce, and jugs or packages of bottled water must find their way up all those stairs. Now I know, regardless if you live on the bottom floor or top, you try your hardest to make only one trip when carrying in your groceries. Even if you have to line your left and right arm, from shoulders to pinky fingers with grocery bags, you will not go back out to that car again. I’m sure there’s a resident in my apartment complex that makes it their weekly ritual to watch the ambitious girl on the 3rd floor muscle up the stairs like a contestant on American Gladiator. Will she drop the jugs of water this week? Look at her recovery from that 2nd floor near fall.
One thing I have yet to master, however, is the package of water bottle plus an armful of groceries combination. It’s too much. I’d rather just take that second trip and save myself the pending injury of making that attempt. The reality of the situation is I can only carry so much. There’s only so much I can carry before I bring harm to myself.
June Hunt beautifully illustrated how unforgiveness is like walking around with a sack and stuffing it with rocks every time we lack forgiveness or harbor anger and bitterness to someone or something. Clearly if you’re the one carrying the rocks, the person(s) that wronged you have no idea the weight and injury it’s causing you. Forgiveness is not easy though, trust me, I still struggle to make the right choice every day. Some days I’m successful and some days I come home with a sack stuffed with rocks.
"Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”
Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times."
As Christ followers, Jesus wants our journey with him to not weight us down.
"As Christ followers, Jesus wants our journey with him to not weight us down
For my yoke is easy and burden is light"
He knows that there are some things that have hurt us too deeply to find the strength within ourselves to forgive. But as Hunt kindly reminded me, forgiveness is a supernatural thing. It’s not instinctual to want to forgive someone that has wrong us. Especially if they are not even repentant about it. It’s supernatural because in those times when we can’t find the strength to carry all those rocks we’ve collect against ourselves or even others, we look around for someone who can, and the only one willing and strong enough to do it is Jesus. He became an expert on the cross, and will take our sacks that we are willing to offer to Him so He can dump them out into the sea of forgiveness, where rocks that He could have carried against us lay as well.
Whether you carry heavy boulders or small pebbles, at some point even the smallest rocks will weigh you down. Rest in the assurance that Christ doesn’t expect us to live any aspect of our life without Him, He always takes delight in carrying whatever it is we are freely willing to offer to him. There are only so many rocks we can bare, isn’t it time to empty your sack and walk in the lightness of forgiveness today?
What or who do you harbor unforgiveness to?
How would your attitude or day change if you know no longer walked around with heavy sacks of unforgiveness?