28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matt 11:28-20 NKJV Every time we lead a back-country backpacking trip, we check in with participants the night before and have them show us the contents of their packs. Inevitably beginners tend to pack way too much stuff! I remember one anxious first timer who wanted to bring along about seven pounds of protein bars in addition to his normal food allotment for a 3 day trip! Our guides have learned over time to pack minimally. Those extra few ounces seem to weigh so much more 10 miles and 3,000 ft of elevation in. One guide even took it so far as to cut the handles off his toothbrushes just to shave off a fraction of an ounce! The same can be said for our spiritual journey as well. I know I personally have a tendency to carry burdens that are not mine to bear. Sometimes it can be difficult to recognize the spiritual junk we have accumulated over time; we just feel tired and weighed down. In the book of Matthew, Jesus makes a simple yet profound statement. He offers to exchange our burdens for his yoke that is light and easy. When we let go of our cumbersome baggage and take up our cross in submission and gratitude, an incredible thing happens; by God’s grace our load lightens, our pace quickens and our spiritual strength is renewed. May you find the courage to lay down your burdens, take up your cross, and follow Him.