Jesus asks us to bring him our troubles, worries, and pain.
What would it look like if I did that?
I imagine walking on a long path to see him.
I arrive to his outstretched arms and put down my three suitcases at his feet.
After we embrace, he tells me that he is happy to see me. He then points to my bags and asks me to open them. Nervous and unsure, my trembling hands slowly open the first suitcase. The contents are in a state of disarray; wrinkled, stained, and dirty. He knows that this is my past. The sexual abuse from my dad, pain from years with an alcoholic mother, and my longing for love were in the bag. He doesn’t recoil with disgust as I expect and motions to the second bag. As I fold back the top to reveal the contents, they are not quite as messy. One half of the bag is folded and packed with care. There is a framed picture of my sons and husband, my Bible, and a large heart. The other side of the bag is not as tidy; there is my relationship with my mom, my self-esteem, and my doubt. Jesus smiles and invites me to open the third bag. I can’t recall what is in this bag and as I open it, I am taken aback as I see thousands of shimmering, sparking gems inside. I look at Jesus in confusion and he nods. As I look in the bag again I see mercy and grace that he promises that I will receive if I remain faithful. This bag contains freedom, joy, and the promise of a future that only He knows.