I am going to make a confession. I haven't been reading my Bible. I mean I do but not regularly. I used to but then I got out of the habit because I was mad at God for 3 years and didn't want anything to do with Him. But then when I wasn't mad at Him anymore I still wasn't reading the Bible because...well, basically because I didn't want to. However, since the start of the new year, something inside me changed. I've begun longing to know the Word again. I dreaded it on one hand because it's just so long and old and parts of it are boring. (I'm just being honest.) I just sucked it up and started reading.
I did the cheesy, cliche' new years resolution thing and decided to begin January 1st. And I did really well with it. For the month of January. I don't know what happened in February but I did not read it at all on my own in February. Now it's March and I'm back on track. And do you know what I'm finding? That yes, it is still long, old, and parts of it are boring...but it's also alive, vibrant, current, and relevant for today.
For instance, we have a gentleman staying with us. It's been hard. Living in community with others often is hard (remember sharing a bathroom with your brother?). There are misunderstandings. There are things that get said or left unsaid. There are messes that get made and we all just live differently. Bob and I have mostly only lived with each other so bringing in even just 1 person has been a difficult adjustment. We have made mistakes and we have cried out to God in frustration, fear, confusion, and love on behalf of our guest.
Then, the other day I was reading in Numbers. Who would have thought God could speak to me now from something written so long ago? He did. Witness: Numbers 11:11-15 "He (Moses) asked the Lord, 'Why have you brought this trouble on your servant? What have I done to displease you that you put the burden of all these people (or this 1 person) on me? Did I conceive all of them? Did I give them birth? Why do you tell me to carry them in my arms as a nurse carries an infant...? I cannot carry all these people by myself; the burden is too heavy for me. If this is how you are going to treat me, please go ahead and kill me..."
Wow. Moses is kind of a whiner, huh? Um, well so am I. And did you notice how Moses makes it all about him? Way to have compassion on your fellow man there Moses. Yeah, but that's me too. However here is what I take from this...or at least what resonated with me. Moses had a call on his life. He was God's right hand man. He had done some impressive things up to now. He was learning on the job and doing fairly well at keeping all the balls in the air. And yet he was tired, overwhelmed, overworked, and depressed. How many of us can say the same thing? And this man was doing exactly what God called him to do. So what was God's answer to Moses?
Numbers 11:16 & 17 "...Bring me 70 of Israel's elders who are known to you as leaders and officials among the people. Have them come to the tent of meeting that they may stand with you. I will come down and speak with you there and I will take some of the power of the Spirit that is upon you and put it on them. They will share the burden of the people with you so you will not have to carry it alone." God's answer is for others to come along side Moses and share the burden.
So many times I am walking in my calling, doing my thing, following the passion inside me only to feel overwhelmed, tired, and depressed. And instead of calling on God (even just to whine a bit) I turn inward and berate myself. I should be grateful for the opportunity to serve. I am doing what God called me to do so it must be ME that's wrong because God wouldn't make His work...WORK would He? Instead I should cry out to God to send others who walk in the same calling/passion to help carry the burden. Or I should try to reach out to others and ask them to help me. In so doing I may just find out that someone had been looking for an opportunity to serve and use the gifts God gave them too.
It's so easy to think that living in community is easy. Or that after a big God-inspired miraculous event, life is now easy and exactly as it should be. Once the Israelites were free from the bondage of slavery and free from Egypt, their lives definitely weren't any easier. Though it appears they thought life should be.There were still messes and mistakes made. There was still grumbling and arguing and selfishness. Yet God loved them and wanted the best for them and made a way for them (well the 2nd generation of them any way) to get to the Promised Land. That's how it is for us too. We make mistakes. We grumble and complain. We try and take on or do too much ourselves. Yet God still makes a way for us. Because He loves us.
So if me or Bob or our houseguest asks for help one of these days, we pray people come along side of us to help us carry our burdens. Because sometimes they ARE too heavy for us. Not every day, but some days. We are thankful God brought us together and thankful He provided for us all and we look for ways to make it easier on each other. But when it's not...well, we'll try to remember to ask for help.
I'm glad I'm reading my Bible again. Even the boring parts.