"Father, what is sex sin?" asked Corrie Ten Boom on the train one afternoon, having heard the word in a poem at school.
Instead of answering, Father handed Corrie his suitcase. "Corrie, can you carry my suitcase for me?" He questioned.
Try as she might, little Corrie couldn't lift the heavy travel bag. "I'm not big enough yet, Father," she admitted reluctantly.
"So it is with sex sin, Corrie. There are some things that are too heavy for a child to carry. For now, you must trust me to carry certain things for you, and when you are able to handle them, I will tell you about them."
Years later, after having been arrested for assisting Jews during WWII, Corrie and her father were imprisoned. Although Corrie lived through her internment, her father died from illness after just 10 short days. Unable at first to understand why God allowed him to die, Corrie finally decided that the Lord's reasoning was too much for her to grasp right then. She made the choice to let God carry this "suitcase" for her.
What in your life right now is too heavy for you? Are you leaving it in the Lord's hands, or are you constantly struggling with the weight of it yourself? I'm definitely of the "suitcase-carrying" kind of person. I worry and stew about things I have no control over, as if somehow my fretting is going to change the situation for the better.
I have a list of suitcases I attempt to carry: Jon's CSF leak; Turbo's diabetes; family finances; the spark plugs' health. I've convinced myself that worrying about these and other issues means I care more deeply about my family than I would if I weren't unduly concerned. But if I'm honest here, carrying my own troubles is nothing more than sin, selfishness, and a lack of faith. Calling sin by its name doesn't really leave much room for pretending that it's something else, does it?
If you're struggling with something in life, be it family issues, money woes, poor health, or lack of faith, there are three questions you should ask yourself:
- Why are you struggling with this?
- What is causing you to resist leaving it in God's capable hands?
- What can you do today to start leaving it with Him?
I don't ask myself these questions very often, but I need to start doing it regularly. When I'm faithful to consider them, the answers are convicting.
- I struggle with things because I am a naturally-gifted worrier. Fretting comes easily to me; I don't have to work at it, and yet it's an area where, sadly, I excel.
- Lack of trust in God's promises and faithfulness and my own selfish pride cause me to hang onto things when I should leave them fully with God.
- If I truly want to stop carrying my suitcases, I can pray, read Scripture, and ask others to keep me accountable.
Your answers may look similar to mine, or they may be completely different. My hope is that taking the time to consider your own answers will challenge you to release your "suitcase" into the Lord's capable hands. He'll hold it until you're ready to handle it, whether that's sometime in the coming days or not until you reach Heaven.
For many months following her arrest, Corrie had to be content knowing that the Lord would carry the suitcase of her father's death. But as the war dragged on and the concentration camp grew more and more brutal, Corrie at last understood why God had taken her father Home. Dying from illness had spared him from the beatings, humiliation, starvation, and shootings that took place in the men's quarters. The Lord in His goodness had been merciful.
What about you? Are you able to leave your worries, cares, and concerns with the Lord even if He chooses not to reveal His reasoning? Although my heart wants to do this, my flesh is still weak. I am constantly fighting the urge to take back my worries. I have a feeling that this will be a life-long battle for me, but as my faith continues to grow, I hope that I will grab the suitcase handle less and less frequently.
I don't need to know all of God's reasons; I just need to trust that He will safeguard that information until it's time for Him to reveal them.