From an early age, we show signs of wanting to become independent. I am not sure where that comes from, but if you are anything like me then you are in the habit of just completing tasks on your own. As much as we may think we know, it may not be the best way of going about things.
Take a look at Moses! Even he had to figure out the hard way that he could not do things on his own. In the beginning, when God called Moses to go before Pharaoh to save the Israelites, he was very reluctant and tried to make every excuse in the book, telling God that he was not the right guy.
Ultimately, he did go before Pharaoh,
but he did so with his brother Aaron at his side.
Fast forward, and God uses Moses to deliver the people of Israel from Egypt. What an awesome success story that people literally talk about hundreds of years later—even among the Gentile nations! Now, there are two specific scenes shortly after the exodus from Egypt that I find fascinating, and I think they are very applicable for all of us.
First, the Israelites face off against their first enemy the Amalekites. Moses instructs Joshua to lead select men and be in the thick of the foray while Moses would be up on a hill with his staff. Ultimately, if Moses kept the staff raised, then the Israelites would be winning, but as soon as Moses got tired and lowered the staff, then the Israelites would start losing. As the battle raged, Moses’ two companions Aaron and Hur stepped in by placing a stone under Moses so he could sit and rest, and they stood on either side of Moses to keep his arms raised for him so Israel could get the final victory over the Amalekites.
In the very next passage of Scripture, Moses’ father-in-law Jethro came to visit Moses. Now, these two guys did the usual chitchat of catching up on life, but later Jethro had a chance to see how Moses would counsel the Israelites. When Jethro saw that Moses literally did this ALL day long, he scolded Moses.
Moses’ father-in-law said to him, “What you are doing is not good. You and the people with you will certainly wear yourselves out, for the thing is too heavy for you. You are not able to do it alone.” | Exodus 18:17-18
Jethro was pointing out to Moses that as much as he wanted to do everything on his own, it just was not in the best interest for anyone and would ultimately burn out Moses in the long run. Moses’ father-in-law was literally telling Moses to ask for help! How often do we get into similar situations like this?
Yes, God will always be there for you, and He will strengthen you. However, do not ignore one of the greatest gifts that He has already given you! That is community. There are so many people out there that WANT to help “raise your arms” when you feel too exhausted, but you have to ask for help!
Swallow your pride, ignore the voice that tells you that you can do the job better on your own, and take the opportunity to delegate the jobs. Who knows? You may be genuinely surprised by the ones who rise to the occasion!
Give others the opportunity to help and ultimately minister!
Not only will you find yourself sharing the burden that you were originally carrying, but you will see that there will be increased unity between you and other people.
Next time you have a project or a difficult challenge, take Jethro’s advice and delegate those tasks! You will not regret it.