Have you ever started a task, worked for hours, but when you looked around it still seemed like nothing had been done?
I know that feeling all to well. While we have been packing to move I have worked for hours in one room. I packed several boxes, threw away countless items, and placed others in a donation pile but I felt like the stuff left to pack was multiplying when I turned my back on it. I felt overwhelmed. Almost trapped by the work left to do.
I looked at all we had accomplished and felt proud of the boxes we had packed. But still, the weight of what was left to do felt suffocating at times. Maybe you think I am being dramatic, but that is how it felt some days.
When we come to Christ it is like packing up a house.
We have to decide what needs to be thrown away completely which is usually the sin and garbage that we have let in our lives. Then we have to pack up the memories that we want to keep tucked away in storage. The good things, memories of happy times, and maybe a few special items to remind us how far we have come. Finally, we pack the things we will take with us to our new house. We take the basics, the decorations, memories, and personal belongings.
During this process of coming to Christ and packing up the old you to move into the new you it is easy to get overwhelmed. Just when you think you’ve gotten all the sin thrown out, you find just one more piece, or several, and it sets you back a few steps. Deciding which pile the pieces of your life go into is hard. You might think the work is doubling no matter how hard or fast you are working.
I could have given up on packing our house. I could have said let’s just stay here because I’m too overwhelmed to finish. It would have been silly though, because we had already come too far. Maybe you feel that way too when you think about packing up your “house.”
Salvation happens in an instant, but being with Christ takes a lifetime. We will always be cleaning out our house. There will always be new little pieces of trash that we find within ourselves that we need to throw out. Seasons of life will pass and we will have more parts of us that need to go into storage. From time to time we need to take a look at ourselves and decide if we are holding onto the things we want to carry to the next place God is taking us.
Galatians 6:9 says, Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
When you feel overwhelmed by the process of packing up to follow Christ, remember there is more to come when you do good. Keep sorting through your life, keep dealing with the trash, keep only what you need and store away the rest as memories of how far you have come. Don’t give up when it feels like there is more trash than things to keep. God is more than able to take out your trash and fill those empty spaces with goodness.
Always be ready to do a little packing.
Abba Father, thank you for your grace and mercy as we sort through our lives. Thank you for not judging the amount of trash bags verses the amount of boxes. Thank you for picking us up out of our places of comfort and taking us to the new places you have called us to. I ask that you would work in the hearts of those who have never gone through the packing process with you. Give them the strength and courage to begin, the peace to not get overwhelmed and then joy when it is all over. Amen.