Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Task Is Too Heavy

I was ready one of my daily devos early this week (I Will Look Up by Kari Patterson) and the author was referencing Exodus 18,  where Moses is managing the Isrealites, acting as the only judge. His father-in-law Jethro comes to visit, tells him that he needs to delegate his tasks, elect some more judges, and stop trying to run the whole show himself. ( that last part may be my personal inference, but that's kinda how I read it this morning).

"The next day Moses sat down to judge the people, and they stood around Moses from morning until evening. When Moses’ father-in-law saw everything he was doing for them he asked, “What is this thing you’re doing for the people? Why are you alone sitting as judge, while all the people stand around you from morning until evening? ”
Moses replied to his father-in-law, “Because the people come to me to inquire of God. Whenever they have a dispute, it comes to me, and I make a decision between one man and another. I teach them God’s statutes and laws.”

“What you’re doing is not good,” Moses’ father-in-law said to him. “You will certainly wear out both yourself and these people who are with you, because the task is too heavy for you. You can’t do it alone." -Exodus 18:13-18

Kari Patterson comments how Jethro had the insight to know that Moses wouldn't be able to offer the Isrealites what they needed and deserved (wise leadership and discernment) if Moses was worn out from trying to do it all himself.

Oh, how this hit me right between the eyes.
(A mix of deep conviction of truth, with a little bit of humor, thinking of all the little disputes that I've been having to break up around my living room. The Lord knows that we receive truth more easily sometimes with laughter.)

In different seasons of my life, God has used this passage in various ways to put me in my place, but this morning, it was a little different. For the most part, over the course of the last few years, I have let go of a lot of the roles I used to hold. But it seems the Lord is still doing some chipping away, some refining, some pruning.

"I am the True Vine, and My Father is the Vinedresser. Any branch in Me that does not bear fruit [that stops bearing] He cuts away (trims off, takes away); and He cleanses and repeatedly prunes every branch that continues to bear fruit, to make it bear more and richer and more excellent fruit." -John 15:1-2 (AMP)

This morning, He addressed my heart a little deeper.

He asked me to stop trying to do it any of it by myself - for me to stop trying to manage "my people" (the Sweetness and the little prince) in my wisdom and discernment, without relying on His Holy Spirit.

He spoke about how I so often get worn out from the daily repetitiveness of managing the little disputes and messes, routine tasks where I am not asking Him to continually fill me with His wisdom and discernment to manage them.

I am not offering them what they need when I am not offering them Him, Christ in me.

I'm not saying I believe I'm called to elect others to come manage and care for my kids, although there is definite wisdom in knowing when I need a break and taking time for myself, to fellowship with other believers, to serve others, etc. (I can talk about that A WHOLE LOT MORE, but I'll save that for another post).

However, the primary role of caregiving for my kidlets remains with me for this season. Unlike Moses', God is not sending a Jethro to relieve me of this position.

What He has done, though, is provide an Advocate.

Unlike Moses', I have the Holy Spirit inside of me to infuse me with the power, wisdom, and strength I need to do things the way He directs. I can choose to elect the Holy Spirit to take the forefront each and every day, to ask for and rely on Him.

"Because the tasks is too heavy for you. You can’t do it alone."

And there have been awesome moments when the Lord will bring a verse to mind, a passage I haven't thought about for a while, that applies to my current situation with the kids. Wisdom, right when I need it. Supernatural direction. It's amazing.

But in all honesty I forget to ask. I still, somewhere in the crevices of my heart, am deceived that this is somehow my task to complete, my responsibility to figure out and do on my own.

I am praying that this time, the truth of these words - that I can not do it alone. That apart from Him, I can do nothing, that they will stick. Permeate my heart and mind until my actions look different. My decisions reflect the truth that I have and need a Savior each moment, every day.

"God is our refuge and strength, 
an Ever-Present help in trouble." -Psalm 46:1

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