TITLE: The Backpack
SCRIPTURE: Matthew 11:28-30
THE STORY FOR TODAY:
"What's in here-bricks?" joked Uncle Brian, lifting Cody's backpack from the trunk of the car.
Cody shrugged. His mom had suggested that he was packing too much stuff, but Cody hadn't listened. He lifted the pack and settled its weight onto his slender shoulders.
The camping trip was Uncle Brian's idea. Cody's dad, a marine, was serving overseas, and Uncle Brian knew that Cody sorely missed him and sometimes felt scared without his dad at home.
Cody and his uncle started out, but they hadn't gone far before Cody began to tire under the weight of the heavy pack. Soon his shoulders ached so much that he had to stop and rest. "Here," said Uncle Brian. "Give me your pack." Cody would have preferred to carry his own backpack, but it was just too heavy. He reluctantly handed it to his uncle.
Relieved of the extra weight, Cody felt better and began to notice things along the way-the sapphire blue sky, the yellow flowers on a nearby shrub, the chirping of birds overhead. "Thanks, Uncle Brian," he said when they reached their campsite. "I shouldn't have packed so much stuff."
"We all try to carry too much stuff sometimes," said Uncle Brian. "Not just camping equipment, but emotional stuff, too-our cares. Things like worry and fear and responsibility rob us of joy. Do you know that God is willing to carry all of those things for us, just like I carried your backpack for you?"
Cody thought about it. He'd been carrying a lot of emotional stuff lately.
"The thing is," said Uncle Brian, "you took off your backpack and gave it to me-and you have to give your cares to God. Do you understand that?"
Cody nodded. "Sort of," he said. "We learned a verse about that-1 Peter 5:7." Cody quoted the verse.
"Talk to God," encouraged Uncle Brian. "Tell Him all your concerns-your 'cares.' Any time you're troubled, talk to Him again, and quote your verse often. Trust God. Be comforted as you remember that God does care for you."
1 Peter 5:7
"Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you." (NIV)
"Casting all your care upon Him (God); for He careth for you." (KJV)
HOW ABOUT YOU?
Are you feeling scared? Worried about someone who's sick? Concerned about school problems? Do your "cares" keep you from feeling joyful? You can give them all to God in prayer. Ask Him to carry the burden for you, and trust Him to do that.
THE KEY: Give your burdens to God