Tuesday, October 25, 2011

#220 Hiding in the Baggage

The first thing I must do is start this post with a DISCLAIMER.

I've chosen part of a verse of Scripture to base my writing on today. I will basically not reference the verses before or the verses that come after it. Well, maybe I will...maybe I won't. I'm not taking this verse in context. My goal is not to give you a formal exegesis. I am not saying that this is what we should take away from this particular Scripture. Today is just about something that struck me hard. Ready? Here we go...

"And the Lord said, Yes, he has hidden himself among the baggage." 
(1 Samuel 10: 22)

About ten days ago, someone posted this verse on Twitter. Just the verse. No commentary, no nothing; just the verse. I haven't been able to shake it ever since. "He has hidden himself among the baggage." 

In the text, "he" was Saul, and he was hiding among the trunks, suitcases, and luggage used for traveling. For our purposes, how many of us hide among things that encumber our freedom, our progress, our development, or our adaptability? How many of us hide amidst the BAGGAGE of our lives?

If we've walked earth's sod for any number of years, we've picked up stuff along the way. The King James Version of this same verse says, "Behold he hath hid himself among the stuff." Baggage. Stuff. We all have it.  

Things that have happened to us in the past. Where we've come from. What was done to us. Things we've done ourselves. Experiences. Circumstances. Offenses. Conversations. Rejections. Abuses. Cuts. Bruises. Gaping wounds, sometimes scabbed, picked, and oozing poison once again. 

We hide because of them. We hide behind them. We hide amidst and among them. 

And we go nowhere.

Limits are placed on baggage when we board an airplane because lift-off and forward movement can only handle so much weight. Our emotional and psychological "baggage" will prevent us from soaring. It will impede our growth and forward momentum in every area of our lives. You were never created to carry all that weight.

One of the most gut-wrenching sermons I have ever seen and heard was one given by Bishop T.D. Jakes some years ago. I won't ever forget it as long as I live. The Bishop walked up and down the aisle and the front of the sanctuary, having someone place suitcases, duffel bags and all manner of luggage on him, piece by piece. Each one had a name. Names like those I listed above. In the beginning, he was able to move freely and rather quickly. With each added piece, his movements became more encumbered, slower, and eventually he could barely crawl up the steps of the altar before he collapsed under the weight of them all. What a visual of our beaten down estate when we try to function, all the while carrying around all of that baggage. I sobbed at the bare, raw truth depicted in that demonstration.

What would it look like, my friend, if we could reverse this demonstration? If one by one, we could deliberately take each bag off, and lay it at the foot of the Cross of the Lord's Christ? Imagine the increasing freedom of movement that corresponds with the discarding of each piece of baggage, until...until...we stand erect, unencumbered and free. And could we be so bold as to never pick those bags up again?

"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery." (Galatians 5:1)  

"...let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us." (Hebrews 12: 1)

A runner cannot run loaded down with any kind of weight. We will never be a part of the race, let alone win the race of life, loaded down with hindrances and baggage.  

Throw off the baggage. Run free!

Those bags are not sufficient excuses to justify our wrong choices.

Those bags are not sufficient excuses to sit on the sidelines and never be used by God.
Those bags are not sufficient excuses to avoid the people of God.

Those bags are not a hiding place. 

Those bags ARE heavy, destructive, devastating, limiting, suck-the-life out of you, straight from the pits of hell, weapons of the enemy of your soul. 

You will never rise, fly, produce, serve, or experience true Holy Spirit joy or peace, as long as you insist on hiding amidst your baggage. 

In the text, Saul was chosen to be king over Israel, but no one knew where he was. No one that is, except the Lord. It was He who said, "he has hidden himself among the baggage." 

You may be able to run and hide from others; maybe even from yourself. But the Lord knows. He sees you cowering and trembling and hiding yourself among all that baggage. 

Look. He is holding out His hand and beckoning you to come forth. He is calling you to step out into the light of His love and grace, forgiveness and mercy. He is ready to take those bags from you, one by one, and throw them into the abyss forever. 

Go ahead. 

Don't be afraid.

Come out of your hiding place. 

He is there.

You will never be the same again. 


  1. That was a terrific post. I have baggage. Most of it, I've made myself. Thanks so much for linking up with Thankful Tuesday :) Truly, great, great post.

  2. Oh Donna...this was so convicting to me. I even forwarded it over to my husband. I've shared with you before that we've been through so much and are still enduring the storm. Some days it feels like it will never end. But as I read this it became clear to me how much our baggage from past "hurts" is weighing us down...keeping us from taking the steps God wants us to take that I believe will ultimately turn our life around. You really inspired me and encouraged me in this post today. Thank you!! :-)


  3. nice...so much truth in this and love that illustration by TD Jakes because it is in your face and real...easy to see how we let the bags become a comfort and sit in them...great write today!

  4. Indeed. Baggage is limited for a reason. :o) Thanks for calling us out of hiding and reminding us that we are invited to drop the weights and just walk away.

  5. ah, but i do so like some of my bags! especially the ones for hiding!
    convicting words. thanks for sharing, even at the risk of "out of context." :-)
    blessings to you this day!

  6. Such an encouraging post. Fling off the baggage, run the race, keep our eye on the prize. This is Christian LIVING.

  7. Thank you, Donna! What a wonderful and true post!

  8. oh spent way to many years...running with too much baggage...encouraging post...

  9. a powerful word, dear donna. thank you. i'm going to meditate on this...

  10. Donna, I love this! Your scripture is so perfect. I say I was 35 years old before I was delivered from brokenness - because I didn't realize I could throw off what others had thrown on me - as a child of divorce sometimes there's a lot of bagged that we were not designed to create. I created a program for it where instead of baggage, I used bowling balls symbolizing: 1) what others did to us, 2) what we did to ourselves, and 3)what we've done to others. A college student has to stand on a chair with those bowling balls - and then he has to jump off to start his journey - and he can't because the burdens fill him with doubt and fear. Your scripture is so awesome. It drives that point home! I LOVED this!

  11. Excess baggage does get heavy. That must have been a sermon not easily forgotten. Such a vivid illustration. I like your portion to remove those bags and place them at the cross of our Lord. Awesome post!

  12. Donna - this is a great post! I've been guilty of hiding among the baggage many times. (And it is something that if not careful, I will do again.)

    Last summer Sheila Walsh from Women of Faith spoke at our church. She spoke about the baggage we all carry around - invisible to others, but we are fully aware of it. The visual Bishop Jakes used is certainly an eye opener.

    Thank you for sharing this at the Grace Cafe today.


  13. new follower from blog hop, would love a follow back!


    insightful post!

  14. What a powerful image you have described with the baggage. Thanks for sharing today. God bless you!

  15. I had just read that passage in 1 Samuel the other day and was struck by that very same sentence. So very true! Thanks for sharing!

  16. Stopping by from the blog hop. I'm a new follower. Hope you can check me out at

  17. Thanks for the reminder not to let our baggage define us and hold us back from being what God intended.

  18. Wow. Thank-you for this. I am recently working on my 'baggage'. As I have a struggling relationship with my husband who's baggage so totally holds him down and he just will not take it off. After years of it he is so used to it he seems to have taken on the thought that this is just who he is. It's so sad. As I continue to strive to take it off it has been very challenging needless to say. Thank-you for the encouragement.

  19. Each baggage can teach us to grow stronger in the Lord, but we are not meant to hold on to it. So grateful to know that we can lay each down at the foot of the Cross. Thank you for the encouragement and the beautifully written post.

  20. Hi Donna,
    You are so spot on with what you are saying.
    We load ourselves up when the Lord wants us to unload on Him and be free to live in Joy..
    Barb from Australia

  21. Hi! I’m visiting from the Friday Follow 40 and Over Blog Hop. Your blog is awesome! I look forward to getting to know you and learning from each other! I think the idea of an over 40 blog hop is a great idea! I’m your newest follower and I’d love for you to return the favor! Thanks!!

    Life Full of Laughter

  22. This really hit me Donna. Your analogy was so perfect...

  23. New follower from Super Stalker Sunday! Would love if you could follow me back :)

  24. By the way I am now with the super-stalkers here :-)

    Greetings from Germany

  25. Great thoughts, Donna. We need to get rid of the baggage, and be set free to run. Thank you for sharing.

  26. Oh this was great and so true
    Thsnks for sharing.

  27. OH, my goodness, Donna, this is good. I'll be thinking about this for quite some time...

  28. i was blessed by your inspiring post. amazing how we can learn so much from just one little verse in the Bible. may we truly be able to let go of our baggage.

  29. Amazing. Great post - one that really challenges! All so true as well, we really do need to come out of hiding. The problem is we can get so used to having the baggage, of having it around us, that it almost becomes our comfort zone and keeps people and situations at a 'safe' distance. We really need to get a clear grasp of how much better it is to give them up and give them to Jesus do deal with don't we! Off to consider my baggage now - and hoping to at least pop my head out of it all! It's a start :)
    Thanks for a great inspiring blog!

  30. this was wonderful. truly, the Lord is speaking to you as you write. i love the verse, "it is for freedom He set you free" --love that! thank you for this--i neeeded to hear it today.

    neighbors at L.L.'s today...im joining late.

    blessings in His grace,