Welcome to Soul Food. Each Sunday on this site we focus on healthy living by reflecting on our soul and God. For if we neglect that, we have lost everything. (Luke 9:25 and Matthew 16:26.) One of my goals for 2012 is to read through the entire Bible and I'm using the YouVersion app to achieve that goal. (Side note, I highly recommend you downloading it!) Needless to say I've been learning and growing in my faith. The other day, one of the passages I was reading was Exodus 18.
To bring you up to speed, Moses had just led the people out of Egypt (no easy task) and was now their leader. His job description was long. Moses' father-in-law saw everything he was doing and asked him why he was doing it all by himself. Moses responded "Because the people come to me with questions about God. When something comes up, they come to me. I judge between a man and his neighbor and teach them God's laws and instructions." (Exodus 18: 15-16).
His father-in-law replied: "This is no way to go about it. You'll burn out, and the people right along with you. This is way too much for you - you can't do this alone. Now listen to me. Let me tell you how to do this so that God will be in this with you. Be there for the people before God, but let the matters of concern be presented to God ..." (Exodus 18: 17-19).
Did you read that? "This is no way to go about it. You'll burn out ... you can't do this alone ..."! This hit me like a ton of bricks. God didn't make us to be superman or superwoman! We can't do everything on our own. We need God's grace. And we need God's people to help us fulfill God's plan for our lives.
It is easy to go it alone sometimes. We can get in the rut of thinking we can do it all on on our own. It can be hard for us to be close to people when we've been hurt so badly in the past. It can be easy to think we are in control of everything and that if we just try harder, we can do everything on our own. But the harder and longer we try to go it alone, the tougher it will be. Every time we think we can do it on our, we will fail. Because God didn't make us to go about life alone (why He made Eve for Adam).
We need to be strong and of good courage, but we also need to acknowledge that we are human and need help. Admitting we need help does not mean we are weak, it means that we are strong enough to acknowledge it.
What does this look like in real life for you and me? Perhaps we need to delegate. Maybe we need to say no instead of yes. Perhaps we need to tell a trusted friend or two that we need help. Asking the right people to be a part of your support system. Perhaps you are struggling with depression or a going thru a really tough time. Seek Godly wisdom, prayer, and good friends that will be there for you. There is power and strength in saying we need help. We are ALL in this together.
No matter what our title (parent, leader, business man/woman, speaker, author, ski lift operator, manager, etc) we all need to realize that we can't do it alone and if we do, it's not a matter IF we'll burn out, but WHEN we'll burn out.
I also love the last part of Exodus 18:19 "Be there for the people before God, but let the matters of concern be presented to God." We can trust in this promise from God that every little concern we have, He will take care of. I hope that brings you comfort and peace.
Are you trying to be superman or superwoman? Stop trying, because we can't be.