It’s been a tough couple of days. The depression lifted for quite some time but decided to rear it’s ugly head yesterday. After a wonderful women’s retreat on Saturday with much praise, worship and reflection and getting a chance to share some of my story, I should have prepared myself for the valley after the mountaintop experience.
Yesterday I said to my husband that I felt like a suitcase that was stuck on the baggage carousel at an airport going around and around. I was watching all the faces looking back at me as they were looking for their luggage. One by one the other suitcases got chosen. I was left behind. Eventually I was collected but I was thrown into the dark – out of sight, out of mind, forgotten.
Some days this is how my mind and feelings tear at me. Watching other suitcases getting off the carousel represents the lives of others – moving forward, going somewhere; whether for business or pleasure they are taken off the monotonous, mundane carousel. There is this sense of being left behind and longing to be somewhere else – some other glorious location doing something oh so exciting.
Being forgotten and thrown in the dark is when the depression seems overwhelming. I feel abandoned in my thoughts and that nobody can quite reach me. Where other suitcases have wheels to make their journey smoother, my suitcase is heavy, tattered and it has to be carried. Nobody would want to lift an old suitcase.
Speaking to my mum about me feeling like this forgotten suitcase that has been left behind, she said that I have not yet reached my destination. Christ is the pilot and He has come for me. I am not shut in the dark. Christ has called me to Himself and He is making me new everyday until eventually I will be taken onto that flight home.
If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world. C.S. Lewis
This world can feel like an airport. Lots of waiting. We are somewhere between departure and arrival. I long to depart to be with Christ and arrive in a future glory and beautiful Kingdom – renewed and perfect. This is not meant to sound morbid because I treasure so much in this beautiful life! However, in those dark moments, I press into that hope – that this world is not all there is, this world is not the end. Jesus is making all things new. There will be an end to suffering.
On the days when I feel like I am stuck on the carousel, I know that the arms of The Pilot will comfort me – Jesus never abandons me. When the suitcase finally reaches its final destination, I pray that it will open to reveal treasures for its heavenly home and not any unwanted critters!
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:19-21
Life is more than an airport. Life is more than a carousel. It might feel like I am waiting and going around and around in circles. There are times when it is frustrating and I long to be going somewhere exotic. However, the other suitcases may not be going somewhere exciting. The other suitcases might have their own dark experience to arrive to.
To some readers, this might all seem a tad strange. Perhaps the message for you today is to consider yourself as a suitcase. Consider others in your lives as suitcases. Think of the ways in which you see yourself and others. We are all on a journey through life. Suitcases rely on others to pick them up and move them. Sometimes we might feel like that. Or sometimes we might need to pick others up and help them along a bit.
Perhaps you don’t view God as a gentle Pilot but a rough baggage handler, throwing you into all matter of chaos and darkness. Perhaps you think that He is like that to others. There is a baggage handler who can weigh down heavy on you and make you feel the weight of the world is on your shoulders. We call him the accuser, the father of lies, satan, amongst other things. There is a spiritual battle going on in this world. There is evil in this world, but the very fact that we have a moral compass points to something beyond ourselves.
There is hope. The baggage handler does not have the last say on what happens to the suitcase. We go through life with plenty of scrapes and heartache, but when you know Who is flying the plane, you are in safe hands. The question is who would you trust with your luggage – your very life? You don’t want your suitcase to be thrown onto the wrong flight before it’s too late.
Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. James 4:14
Note: baggage handlers and pilots are being used as an analogy! I am not presuming that pilots are saviours and baggage handlers are devils!
Consider your life. Your luggage. The Lord can handle your baggage. He takes it all upon Himself on the cross and offers you His life. He took our place on a plane that was headed for destruction so that we wouldn’t have to. This exchange has altered the destination for every human being in the world – but it is up to us to claim the boarding pass and receive it as a free gift that cost Christ everything but cost us nothing. The journey starts now and it’s an adventure of a lifetime – an eternal lifetime. It’s time to board.