Early in my career, I traveled a lot.  I was in China or Japan or somewhere in Asia three times a year, plus domestic travel.  And I am not the best at fully emptying baggage.  Once, I left a bag of dried shrimp in the pocket of a suitcase for two months . . . in the Louisiana heat . . . in the attic! Yuck!

Apart from that one AWFUL experience, I learned to find joy in the little surprises I’d find in my baggage.  It would be time for a new trip.  So, I would drag my faithful suitcase out and to my surprise a trinket or photo or favorite shirt would pop out of a forgotten pocket.  It happened a lot.  In fact, it happened so much that I started to look for those blessings in my baggage. 

Like everyone, life has taken me some places I’m proud of and some that I wince when I recall the trip.  My memory brings those less fond memories up more often and impromptu.  While I intentionally rehearse the great days, my mind likes to throw the bad ones in my face at the worst possible time (2am - anyone?).  We can push those memories down, and sometimes that’s the right thing to do, but not always.  There are days when I am brave and I pull out the baggage and look at the moments I usually shy away from.  It’s in those moments that the eyes of grace will show me the little blessings tucked in the pockets, long forgotten, but waiting for me patiently.  The lesson, the favor, the kind word, the experience, the mercy, the grace, the strength all waiting for me to discover once again that even in bad times, God is good. 

Have you ever found blessings in your baggage?