February 7

Exodus 16-18

I imagine Moses spoke excitedly when telling his father-in-law how God was working through and for Israel. Battles won. Seas crossed. Manna and quail. So much to tell.

Here is another example of God revealing his purpose behind choosing Israel to reveal himself. Jethro said, after hearing what God had done, that now he knew the Lord is greater than all other gods.

Then Jethro gave Moses some great advice and as I read it this morning I’m wondering if he’s not saying the same to some of us. Jethro told Moses… you can’t do everything. You’ll wear yourself out. Let other people serve.

Years ago, in a church where I was a member I was the church secretary, secretary of the governing board, Sunday School teacher, quiz coach, president of the ladies prayer fellowship, I sat on the pre-school board and sang in the choir. I did that all while trying to get my masters degree.

Needless to say I was burning out quickly. I had to let go of much of that. What I humbly discovered is that those who replaced me were awesome. The ladies group flourished under new leadership. The pre-school board tried some new and wonderful things with the fresh ideas of the one who filled my position. As I began to step back others stepped forward. And what I realized is that I had been preventing others from serving the Lord and using their gifts.

Here’s another thought from today’s scripture. I’ve shared that my family is adjusting to life without two very precious men. Our recent losses have been hard. But I am reminded today that we don’t need to carry the burden alone. We shouldn’t. Even though the loss is personal, each of us need to allow others to help us.

In America, if you meet someone… even a stranger… on the street and they greet you with, “Hello. How are you?” the acceptable response is to say, “Fine, thank you. How about you?” to which they reply, “Fine”.

But if a friend asks and you are hurting or facing a tough decision it’s ok to say, “I’m hurting. Please pray for me.”

When I ask a friend to pray for me it helps me, of course, but it also allows that friend to answer God’s call for ministry. If I try to handle this on my own I’ll be overwhelmed. I take the chance of falling into a depression. I’ll be less able to serve God myself.

So like Moses, I need to let go a little. I need to humble myself and admit I can’t do it all. Whether it’s cutting back on even good activities, or asking someone to pray for me, I might need to make some changes.

Lord, thank you for recording Jethro’s advice to Moses. Help us to recognize when our burdens become too heavy to handle alone. Help us to let go when we need to let go. Help us to reach out to our Christian friends and allow them to minister to us. And help us to be ready to help someone else when the opportunity arises.

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