A Suitcase Full of Promises

Packing has to be one of the hardest tasks a human being has to complete. It’s probably up there with parenthood & the bar exam. When you pack, you’re asked to distinguish what’s important to you and discard what’s not. You want to be both efficient with your boxes, but you also want to take as much of your stuff as you possibly can. You have to think in advance where each item is going to go in your future home and pack those items in the same boxes. You don’t want to make your boxes too light, for they’ll get crushed, but not too heavy, because you’ll kill yourself carrying it. There’s just so many factors involved. But the hardest aspect of packing for me is deciding what I’ll really need in the new place, because I don’t want to bring too much, nor end up with too little.

The constant calculation in my head is, “Is this something I can live without? Will it be easy to get another one of these there? Can I afford to keep it?” With every object in my room, I ask a similar series of questions and if the answer persuades me, I’ll pack it. If not, I put it in the pile of “things I might want to throw away”. And then when I’m all done, I look through the “things I might want to throw away” pile and rummage through it one last time before chucking all its contents. Packing is hard.

So I’m reminded of the Israelites as they were asked to leave a place they’ve been living in for 430 years. And in the rush of miraculous events, God calls them to go. So what do they take with them? Whatever they could carry on their shoulders. So quick was their exodus that they didn’t even have time to wait for the bread to rise with the leaven. They grabbed the unleavened bread & whatever else they could fit in their cloaks. After all, they thought they’d only be traveling for a short while. Little did they know that this journey would take 40 years. But the amazing thing is that even in their unprepared leaving, God sustained them through their journey. They packed lightly, but God provided heavily.

I bet when God gets nostalgic He looks upon those 40 years in the desert fondly. It was in those days that His people depended on Him the most. When they had nothing, they looked to God for everything. When the circumstances looked bleak, they looked to God for hope. In their “not enough”, God became “enough”.

Lord, though I may have much to pack, let not my things become my comfort. May I be comforted all the more that you are going with me. That all I really need is You.

This is what I take with me: a suitcase full of promises.

1 Chronicles 16:12, “Remember the wondrous works that he has done, his miracles and the judgments he uttered…”

Deuteronomy 5:15, “You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God brought you out from there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm.”

Deuteronomy 7:18, “you shall not be afraid of them but you shall remember what the LORD your God did to Pharaoh and to all Egypt,”

Psalm 77:11, “I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember your wonders of old.”


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