call me Jethro

so tired.  so sad.  so angry.  put on the face and put one foot in front of the other.  left.  right.  left.  right.  breathe.

how long have i been doing this?  why am i doing this?  where is God?  dear GOD, what do they want from me NOW?

“The next day Moses sat to judge the people, and the people stood around Moses from morning till evening. When Moses’ father-in-law saw all that he was doing for the people, he said, “What is this that you are doing for the people? Why do you sit alone, and all the people stand around you from morning till evening?” And Moses said to his father-in-law, “Because the people come to me to inquire of God; when they have a dispute, they come to me and I decide between one person and another, and I make them know the statutes of God and his laws.” 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.”

yeah, right.  just stop, huh?  like that’s gonna work.

“Now obey my voice; I will give you advice, and God be with you! You shall represent the people before God and bring their cases to God, and you shall warn them about the statutes and the laws, and make them know the way in which they must walk and what they must do. Moreover, look for able men from all the people, men who fear God, who are trustworthy and hate a bribe, and place such men over the people as chiefs of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens. And let them judge the people at all times. Every great matter they shall bring to you, but any small matter they shall decide themselves. So it will be easier for you, and they will bear the burden with you.”

where have THEY been up to this time?  why didn’t THEY step up before now?

Do you trust me or don’t you?

well, yes, but…

Do you trust me or don’t you?

you know i do, Lord

Do you trust me or don’t you?

let me be your Jethro today.  you’re doing too much.  you’re doing things God has not called you do.  He will give you the grace and strength to do what He’s called you to do.  He WILL NOT enable you to do things He’s told you to lay down.  there’s a reason you feel the way you do.  these are the caution signs telling you the bridge is out ahead.  you can’t will the bridge into existence.  you can’t suck it up and make the bridge appear.  if you keep ignoring the signs there will be a crash ahead.  not may be a crash.  WILL BE.   hear me.  hear Him.

“If you do this, God will direct you, you will be able to endure, and all this people also will go to their place in peace.”

(Exodus 18:13-23)

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Unexpected Sabbath

Halfway through the second week of snow days in our part of the country.  It’s been so interesting to see the tug-o-war on FaceBook between those who hate the snow (hourly employees, those who have to work in and through it, and moms of young children) and those who love it (99% of students, workers on salary, and those who just do).  I fall into all three of the latter category.  Most intriguing to me, though, are those who weigh in at just bored and restless after the first day, and those who take the opportunity to work themselves into a sweaty heap.  Everyone is entitled to his or her own personal taste in weather and how to spend unplanned time off, of course.  I don’t expect the world to be just like me any more than I appreciate others telling me how I “just haven’t tried their recipe for broccoli or else I would just love the nasty, foot-smelling abomination.

Curious – everyone I know is so tired and so busy and so overworked, including me, but it seems we’ve forgotten how to rest when given the opportunity.  Even the designated Sabbath has evaporated now that the retail world has made itself available to us seven days a week.  This is not a rant about the evil giant.  If we had stayed home, the stores and restaurants would have given up the practice long ago.  Neither do I want to bash those who are already half beaten by the expectations of society.  I have walked through entirely too many days and nights feeling like a disappointment – a “not enough” – to everyone including myself.

Rather I want to challenge myself and others to rediscover (or perhaps enjoy for the first time) REST.  Just take a moment and say the word to yourself.  REST.  It’s a noun – a state of being – a thing to be grasped.  “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you REST,” (Matthew 11:28).  In fact, it’s a gift from a tireless Father to a weary child.  From One who knows best what we need.  In much the same way, it is not a suggestion but a command.  “Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and RESTed on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy,” (Exodus 20:9-11).  Still we resist like a toddler fights his nap time.

If this rings altogether painfully true, it will take some prioritizing, some saying “no” to certain things, some time to change – to add some margin into our overfull lives.  But when given the opportunity, consider REST.  A choice to not fill the time with more from the never ending “to do” list or fret about a lack of accomplishment.  Perhaps this only applies to me.  If so, I need to listen and learn, not just intend.  I suspect, however, that I stand in the midst of an exhausted mass of people in desperate need of an unexpected Sabbath.

Breathe Deep

Proverbs 25:11 says, “Like apples of gold in settings of silver is a word spoken in right circumstances.” (NASB) I think that has far more to do with what the person needs to hear at that time than what is necessarily profound or righteous or correct.  It has to do with speaking the truth in love – a perfect balance of the two.  To the hurting, it is a reminder of the sweetness of the love of God.  To the weary, it is the exhortation to exchange loads with the Master.  To the broken, it is the rediscovery that the Lord is not only able, but He is eager to mend.  All of these things are true.  They are also love.

If the power of life and death are in the tongue, I want to be a life giver – breathing life into those around me.  That is what Barnabas House is about in general.  Encouragement.  Life.  That’s what I want to be about personally.  Healing.  Restoration.  So many times that has not been the case for me with those closest to me.  But I have learned that one of the most healing things I’ve ever heard is, “I was wrong.  I’m sorry.”  I know that sometimes it’s harder to say than “I love you.”  I sincerely hope I’ve gotten to the place in my life where I’ll choose what’s right over what’s easy.  To speak the truth in love.  To be God’s voice of encouragement.

Thank you stopping in to visit.  Join me in encouraging someone today.

Welcome to Barnabas House of Oklahoma!