When Luggage Seems Too Heavy: Fearless Victory Series, Part 8


Gasoline-driven vehicles are prohibited in Zermatt, home of the world-famous Matterhorn, and when this is where our route took us, we were forced to leave our car in Täsch and take a short train ride up a beautiful valley. Funny how the air seemed fresher in this little mountain town!

The train station was conveniently located in Zermatt, and our hotel was less than 1 km away. No problem. After all, we had walked more than 16 km in Paris on our first day in Europe! But when the crowded road we were following turned to cobble-stone and then began to climb, the problems began. I had known our luggage was heavy, but we hadn't even covered half the route before they began to seem like they weighed 1000 pounds each! And to make things worse, the electric-powdered cars that were allowed in the town were constantly forcing us off the road. Between trying to avoid being run over by them, and trying to avoid the many, over-zealous tourists, our trek was more than adventuresome!

After what seemed to be at least half an hour, discouragement began to settle in. Maybe it was the sharp pain in my back that precipitated the negative emotions, but suddenly my suitcase seemed to be filled with heavy boulders, and for some reason, I was unable to make it move even a centimetre further. I tried kicking it, but the only response was a sore toe, and the intense crowds jostling me all around suddenly made me feel claustrophobic.

Where was our hotel? Would we ever reach it? It might as well have been in Timbuktu! I tugged at my suitcase once again, but my back protested by sending a thousands electric shocks all over my shoulder. Ouch! I couldn't take it any longer! Oh, what was I going to do?

Then one of my sons grabbed my suitcase out of my hand and took off up the road as if it weighed only 20 kg! My mouth gaped as I watched him. Where had he come from, and where was his suitcase?

A few days later we finally reached our hotel (Truthfully, it was more like 10 minutes later), and we were royally received. In fact this was one of our favourite stays in Europe! If I had given up and given into my temptation to let the heavy luggage roll back down the hill to the train station, I would have missed it all! That very thought make me shiver to the core. Brrrrr!!!

Like fiery darts penetrating to the depths of our souls, we all face our discouraging moments. It's only when we open our Bible that we discover that many of these arrows were sent our way for a specific purpose.

"Take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one." (Eph 6:16 NIV)

The evil one is trying to rob us of something very special. He has access to our mind, and he sends us thoughts when we are both awake and asleep. Though these thoughts he puts in our minds are not specifically the sin, entertaining them and acting upon them sure is!

The evil one knows our weaknesses as well as our needs, and this is where he specifically aims his darts. For those of us facing distress and seemingly unmoveable mountains, alcohol lures us away to the blissful islands of forgetfulness. The wake up call, however, is even bitterer than what we originally faced! For those of us experiencing rejection and low-self-esteem, the hunger for intimacy may invade our soul and try point out how everyone treats us in unloving, disapproving and degrading ways. Then the shelter of illicit voyeurism and affairs begins to lure us to temporary approval. Again the wake up call is far worse than what we were initially confronting. For those of us who experience dire disappointment, the highs of drugs may lead us to some temporary satisfaction. But then again, our lives go down the drain as well!

The list could go on and on, but it's interesting that the devil only uses counterfeits that never really satisfy our deep longings! It's also interesting that he only points out what is missing, lacking or negative in our lives.

This was the devil's tactic from the beginning: "Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden'?" (Gen 3:1NIV) God's focus was very different however: "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden…(except for one)" (Gen 2:16 NIV) God focuses on what we can do, while the evil one focuses on what we can't do!

All of Satan's darts come at us first through simple thoughts, and right at that time, we face a choice: We can either reject that thought immediately, or we can entertain it. If we choose to entertain it, strongholds are begun, because more and more nefarious thoughts will be sent our way until they will eventually be acted out over and over again. Before we know it we are obsessed by them! Our subconscious has taken control of our lives, dictating that we are indeed helpless and hopeless!

This is why the apostle Paul urges us to dwell on the positive instead of the dark side! "Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious - the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse." (Phil 4:8-9 The Message)

It's time we stand up for who we really are: Sons and daughters of the Most High! It's time we come forward and declare: "We won't take from the evil one any longer!" It's time we say "no" to every dart that is thrown our way. Entertaining these evil thoughts will lead us to utter misery anyway, so why even consider them? Say "no" to tempting thoughts. Say "no" to negativity. Say "no" to accusations, however real they may seem.

Let's choose to dwell instead on the blessings from the Most High! Let's put aside anything that will cloud our vision of the Lover of our souls! Its time for victory, my friends!

Remember, my suitcases did not actually become heavier. It was entertaining the thoughts that rendered them fictionally heavier! I am on my way to a royal reception. Get away from me, discouragement-filled lies! I have all the power with me that comes directly from my Saviour!

"For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." (2 Cor 10:3-5 NIV)

If ever you go to Zermatt, may I recommend the electric cab? Or perhaps the horse-drawn carriage?

P.S. Saying "NO!" to temptation really works, as long as we don't put ourselves in harm's way.  Depending solely on Jesus sure makes a difference!

Rob Chaffart

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