See Part 1 here.
See Part 2 here.
See Part 3 here.
See Part 4 here.
See Part 5 here.
See Part 6 here.
See Part 7 here.
Trust With Burdens
Today I find myself thinking of Moses. This was a man who literally sat and spoke with God. The thing with him though was from that moment on the burning bush, he was a man who tended to want to explain why he couldn’t.
God told Moses to help his people. Moses gave a list of reasons why he couldn’t. The funny thing is, while it’s one thing to know yourself, would you have any doubt if you knew God wanted you to do something?
For Moses, it was leading the Israelites to the promised land. For others, it might be something else. None of us have the benefit of a burning bush or singing angels these days.
In my mind, the task is to help my family through this ordeal.
What helps me? Faith in Jesus. Seriously, I don’t know how I’m going to pull of half of the things I think I need to. But I know anything is possible through Christ, and I know that if God wants something to happen, it happens.
Previously, I spoke about my sister. I’d mentioned she was struggling to balance her children, her life, and caring for our mother. We spoke on the phone about it.
It’s hard to think about what others feel or think when we’re focused on our labors. I feel this in a lot of areas. It’s easy to think no one is doing anything when no one is helping you. That’s not actually the case. They may indeed not be helping you, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have reasons for what they’re doing. Alternatively, when someone is working on something, it’s easy to forget how hard it is. Have you ever decided not to look at something or worry about something because it wasn’t your job? It’d be nice to think a portion of that is born of the trust one has in the other to do the job, but isn’t it possible that person might just be grateful it’s not something they have to do?
My sister felt the toll of two-and-a-half weeks of care for our mother who has cancer. We spoke about how hard she was working. We spoke about what the rest of the family was doing. As I’d mentioned, my family isn’t prone to supportive action in crisis. But how do I help my sister and keep things from losing focus?
Even in that moment on the phone, I felt nervous. I worried this might be one of those moments where our family complains about one another or lashes out.
Here I was wondering what would have happened differently if Moses had simply said, “Yes, Sir.”
That thought gave me a bit of clarity. I could be mad. I could sympathize with this person or that person. None of that conversation would have resolved the issue. Instead, I put my eyes on what I felt mattered most.
What does my mother need? Sure, that’s easy for me to ask seeing as though I’m pretty powerless to do anything on the other side of the country. Then again, that didn’t mean I couldn’t be supportive or offer a different viewpoint.
My first need was to put the focus not on who wasn’t doing what and who was, but instead focusing on what needs to be done.
My sister felt responsible for a few complications that came up during the week. She was tired. She was stressed.
“I’m just one person, and I can only do so much,” she said.
“Lucky for us God is infinite, and he can do anything,” I replied.
We talked about what options were available to ease some of the tension. Once I knew what all the issues were and the obstacles, I offered what help I could: Money. I’m not rich. I’m not even as stable as I was before I published my first book.
“Can I afford it? No, but God will take care of it.”
Low and behold, a few days later the family has a new plan that gives my older sister a break and helps my mom get care and help when she needs it. How much did it cost? Nothing. Of all the plans and things I considered options, the thing that’s happening doesn’t cost my family anything (at least not that I know of). I’m not sure if the explanation is protected by some sort of agreement, so I can’t offer it here, but that doesn’t matter. The point is, when you trust in God, things work out.
I don’t think everything’s settled. For starters, my mom still has cancer. But the more I trust in God, the less I even have to do. It’s kind of ridiculous lately how true that is. A few chapters back, I gave my formula, and I think it still holds true. We mortals have to put in the work. If we do so, and we keep our faith in Christ, it’ll work out. I think it’s all the easier when you’re doing God’s will.
That’s a touchy subject to be honest. For now, I just feel confident that when one is doing God’s will, whatever that may be, it’s pretty simple if you trust that God is with you.
I remember somewhere in 1 Chronicles (also in Kings if I remember correctly), David was threatened by enemies. He asked God, “Should I attack them? Will you deliver them into my hands?” God replied, “Attack them, and I will deliver them to you.”
Man I’d like to be able to converse with God on that level. I’d do it for pretty much everything. “God, should I have Raisin Brain?” “No, have Fruit Loops.” (No intended recommendation is made here. It’s just a metaphor.)
We don’t have that sort of luxury, but every now and again, we feel a moment, a calling. I say when you feel that, go with it.
Questions and Revelations
Does this mean if something is hard we should stop because it’s not God’s will?
How the heck should I know? I mean, it might be a trial God wants me to learn from. It might be the right thing, but the time might be wrong. Or, I could be going against God’s wishes, and he’s trying to dissuade me. All of these are possibilities. I just don’t know.
I do trust that if God absolutely didn’t want me to do something he’d either stop me by closing that door, or hold me accountable when I do it.
How do you know you’re doing God’s will?
I don’t. I sure hope I am though. In some things, I’ve felt called. On the phone that day, I felt frustrated and angry because of my own powerlessness. Imagine how my sister felt? We could have lamented on all the things we couldn’t do or couldn’t face. I realized, however, that was an opportunity to praise God for his limitless power. It didn’t obligate him to do anything, but I swear to you all I felt something telling me to stop making it about what we couldn’t do and start driving the conversation toward God and His grace. I’m normally someone who wants to talk about a problem, as if doing so will make the problem regret existing. In this case, I felt a calm I don’t typically feel. It felt right. Praise, don’t fret. Pray, don’t dwell. It’s much easier said than done, but when you do it, it works.
Does that mean you’re never worried?
Oh if only you knew me better. I worry (or at least I’m know to worry) so much. I wonder how many people have noticed a change. I’ll say this much, my boss mentioned it to me. I confessed my feelings aren’t nearly as clear as my actions have been of late, but it felt truly wonderful to have him recognize I’m handling this well.
My mind is constantly working through things. What needs to happen? How difficult is it? What could go wrong? What can I do to prevent this?
If I’m 1,000,000,000 times closer to God than I was when this started, I (and all of us) still have an infinite number of miles to grow. We’ll never approach his grace and virtue. I think each time I accept a situation for what it is and trust God to help me through, I’m a little better.
Like Moses, there’s still a lot to actually do. But if you trust in the Lord to help you through it, the work becomes easier.
If you have other questions regarding my faith or thoughts or actions at this point, feel free to ask, and I’ll add them to the blog. I try to ensure these passages are self reflective. My chaplain told me to take this opportunity to look at myself, but at the moment, those were the only real thoughts going through my mind. Questions might help me remember other thoughts or parts of The Bible I’d overlooked while typing this post.
Thanks for reading