May 19, 2012

Solutions for wanting to quit

This process of downsizing is hard work, physically and emotionally. However, just when I’m tempted to grumble about it, God reminds me of the much larger task He gave Moses and the reaction Moses had when the load became too much for him. 
God told Moses to lead His people out of bondage in Egypt. At first, Moses was not excited about taking on the job. However, with the help of his brother, he went forward, eventually accomplishing what God asked him to do. Then, as the large company of Israelites traveled toward the land God promised them, they grumbled and wanted more than Moses could deliver. When this happened, Moses was ready to throw in the towel.
Moses heard the people weeping throughout their clans, everyone at the door of his tent. And the anger of the Lord blazed hotly, and Moses was displeased. Moses said to the Lord, “Why have you dealt ill with your servant? And why have I not found favor in your sight, that you lay the burden of all this people on me? Did I conceive all this people? Did I give them birth, that you should say to me, ‘Carry them in your bosom, as a nurse carries a nursing child,’ to the land that you swore to give their fathers? … I am not able to carry all this people alone; the burden is too heavy for me. (Numbers 11:10-12, 14)
I remember more occasions when I felt like quitting. Some involved being let down by others for whom I was responsible. Or I had more work to do than hours in the day. Or I was constantly interrupted or thwarted to the point that I felt I would never catch up. Or there seemed no end in sight, no accomplishments either. Whatever the reasons, quitting became appealing because I feel incapable of continuing.

Today’s devotional reminds me that whenever God puts someone in any position of responsibility, He will both fit him for it and maintain him in it. I have the most incredible resource. Am I relying on Him? I need to ask myself some questions. 

Is this burden from Jesus in the first place? He said that those bearing a heavy burden need to come to learn of Him, for He does not impose burdens that are too heavy.
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:28–30)
When I am over-loaded, I must first check where that load originated. Did I rush unsent into it? Or did God send me and then I proceed to do it without relying on Him? Is there a change in His command? Have I added to the load by worry or grumbling about it? 

If the Lord’s burdens are light and mine have become heavy, unless I examine what I am doing and why, I am in danger of a thorough breakdown. If God called me to it, He promised the needed grace. This is true in every case. That means I can never fail as long as I cling to the living God. I will not run dry if I am drawing from Him. He said, “Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’ ” (John 7:38) 

God’s solutions for over-worked servants are varied. Sometimes He removes the burden and takes it Himself. “Cast all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you” 1 Peter 5:7. 

 Sometimes He lightens the load as Jesus said. He can do this in several ways. He might increase my strength. “They who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength…” Isaiah 40:31, or in Moses’ case, He divided the load.
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Gather for me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom you know to be the elders of the people and officers over them, and bring them to the tent of meeting, and let them take their stand there with you. And I will come down and talk with you there. And I will take some of the Spirit that is on you and put it on them, and they shall bear the burden of the people with you, so that you may not bear it yourself alone” (Numbers 11:16–17).
This is also a major solution for burdens in the Body of Jesus Christ. The New Testament says that none of us are to do God’s work as lone rangers. We must work together and help each other. Galatians 6:2 says, “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” 

That means when the work becomes too difficult, I can and should call for backup, either in prayer or in extra muscle, or even both. But first, I need to talk to the Lord. He might come up with some other solution that I never even thought of!

God, today I feel tired. The dust from boxes and paper is bothering my allergies. Grumbling is a threat. Lord, You are my Savior. Save me from the sin of complaining, and the temptation to quit. Show me Your solution to the burdens of this day. Thank You that You care and stand ready to offer help.

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