Hey, What Ya Got In That Bag? :: By Sally Law

Rapture Ready 

My Granddaughter, Sophia, loves to come and visit her Granddad and Grammy. Sophia is the youngest of our grandchildren and has three older brothers. Our son, who is super organized, has travel and “spend overs” with us down to a fine art.

Each child has their own suitcase with wheels, and they are responsible to have it packed and ready for the trip. The exception is Sophia—she is three. She needs a little, shall we say, oversight. She is too cute with her pink Hello Kitty suitcase on wheels.

We wait and watch for the Winnebago-sized SUV with our wonderful family inside, arriving any moment for a visit. We hear the sound of a vehicle pulling up our long driveway, sticks and acorns popping and cracking under the slow-approaching tires, then of multiple car doors slamming. But most of all, the sounds we love to hear—the voices of our grandkids screaming with excitement.

Love does not come softly at our home.

After our initial greetings with lots of hugs and kisses, our son, the commander and chief, sends everyone to the garage for baggage pickup. The bags are color-coded to avoid confusion. (I was never this organized; he gets it from my husband.)

In a matter of a few seconds, Sophia comes marching through the garage door, pulling her bag by herself upside-down across our wood floors, the wheels pointing upward. Everyone offers to help but she insists she is a big girl. Priceless.

Of course, her bag has been through parental inspection many times and repacked just as many. After kisses and hugs one more time, I ask her, “What ya got in that bag?”

She opens it up for me, very proudly taking each item out one by one and placing it in my lap. I admire each and every item as it is special to her. It is always pretty much the same collection, things that are of paramount importance to a three-year-old little girl. Not much to wear or spare clothing of any kind, but her favorite toys and sleep things, a pink blanket and a bathing suit. We live on a lake and she loves to swim and fish with her Granddad. Her Mom packs the important items and much-needed clothes in a spare travel bag just in case she needs something more than a bathing suit.

But I do not expect any more or any less from her as she is a child. Her brothers were the same way when they were younger.

I think as an adult I have the opposite problem; I pack way too much. As a matter of fact, I am realizing more and more that the things that are of paramount importance to me are eternal and can’t really fit in a bag, not in an earthly bag anyway. I can’t take this bag to where I am going, which by the looks of things could be sooner than later. Earthly things must stay here on Earth.

I cannot take them with me no matter how many bags I pack.

The real bag is the one already packed for me, the one of spiritual importance. It is ready to go, fully loaded with everything I will ever need for where I am headed. It waits for me on the other side in a place prepared for me. It is filled with eternal treasures I have laid up in heaven in Christ. Also waiting there is my inheritance—a special gift from God as a reward set aside for me since the day of my salvation. It is my heavenly treasure chest.

Jesus reminds us of the difference between the two:

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in or steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19-21).

One treasure is earthly and can corrode or be stolen; the other is secured in heaven in a place where such things like corrosion and thieves don’t even exist.

The world and our culture assault these truths daily. We are encouraged to pick up earthly bags – bag after bag,

and stuff them—stuff them really full.

Just one more win.

Just one more toy.

Just one more trophy.

Just one more trip.

Just one more piece of pie.

Just one more purchase.

Just one more TV, only bigger!

There is nothing inherently wrong with the above things in and of themselves. It’s when they become our existence.

We fill our God slot with these things. The only thing that goes in the God slot is… God. Nothing else will do.

Bigger is not necessarily better.

He who dies with the most toys does not win.

He who dies with the most toys still dies, leaving the toys behind.

You still can’t take it with you, or can you?

You can if you are a Christian. It is already laid up in heaven, waiting for us, imperishable, kept in perfection until we get there! It is our heavenly treasures in Christ.

Here is a great promise and one of my favorite verses:

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! Who according to His great mercy, He has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by Gods power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Peter 1:3-5).

Let’s ponder these points:

So now, awaiting us in heaven we have heavenly treasures that we have been laying up in heaven, and also an inheritance that is there awaiting our arrival. Wow!

There’s more? Yep! (This is starting to sound like those copper pans they sell on TV with the “but wait” before they lure you into the offer.) But this is so much better, though!

Crowns. A crown of righteousness. If you love His appearing, or another name for His appearing – the Rapture – then a crown awaits you and me.

Here is the promise:

“Finally, there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give me on that day, and not to me only, but also to all who have loved His appearing” (2 Timothy 4:8).

What we have here on Earth pales in comparison to what we will have in heaven with Christ.

We may have really nice things or even great things that God has blessed us with. I sure do. These earthly things still do not get to go with us—they will expire in this mortal life.

I don’t know about you, but I want my life to be about so much more than just earthly things. I want to be involved in what the Lord wants me involved in, things that He loves. I want to love my husband and family, and love others as he does. This, for me, is way better than stuff.

The departure of the Church at the rapture seems so close; I feel like I could just reach out and touch it. My heavenly reward is there too, secured and waiting with my Lord in a place prepared for me.

As I remind myself of these things and what I have to look forward to, I just thought, dear reader, you might need a reminder too!

Sally Law