Encouragement, Happy Thought Indeed, Insights, Reflections

It’s all in the Bag!


I recently had the honor of speaking at a conference in St. Louis.  The attendees received a nice book bag as part of their registration and utilized them as they toured the vendor shopping hall.  The bags were just the right size for books and flyers and had shoulder straps to make carrying easier.

As a bag-aholic, I admired these bags from the vendor booth that I was manning.  I struck up conversation with a visitor to my booth, who of course had a bag, and we laughed at the fact that as much as I loved bags, she actually hated them!  We were both astonished by the opposing passions we had regarding bags.

She asked me, with incredulity, what I used miscellaneous bags for.  I shared with her that I keep a few in my car to use at grocery stores that don’t provide bags.  I always have a bag on hand to fill with paper, pens, and coloring books for mini road trips with my daughter.  There is always a bag ready with a beach towel for when we go swimming or on a spontaneous picnic.  We parted ways with her chuckling at the “bag lady” she had just met!

Two days later, at this conference, I was to give the first of my speaking sessions.  I always experience the normal jitters, but that morning, I was overcome with dread, sadness, and fear due to a circumstance that had nothing to do with the conference.  I poured my heart out to God.  I agreed with him that I knew He had put me on this path, but that I felt like I wouldn’t be able to walk in that day.  I was completely broken before him.  God truly ministered to me during my quiet time.  He quieted my spirit, He lifted my downcast heart and gave me the courage to fulfill my calling.

I had to man the vendor booth before my first session and was very surprised to see the lady that I had conversed with about the bags approaching me.  Her arms were full and there was a huge smile on her face.  She said, “I am so glad you are here.  I brought you these!”  Spilling from her arms were bags!  Bags of all shapes, sizes, fabrics, and colors fell at my feet.  There were totes, backpacks, book bags and more!  Tears started flowing and I was so overcome that I could not even speak for several moments.

There was no way to communicate to her where my heart had been hours earlier.  There was no way to communicate to her how broken and downcast I had been upon waking.  There was no way to communicate to her how God had just given to me the biggest kiss ever!  I tried to regain composure and thanked her the best I could.  God didn’t have to give me anything tangible, but in his kind regard of my state, He did.  Only God would know how much bags would thrill my heart.

Cast all your cares upon Him, for He cares for you.