alone

The next day, Moses took his seat to hear the people’s disputes against each other. They waited before him from morning till evening.
   When Moses’ father-in-law saw all that Moses was doing for the people, he asked, “What are you really accomplishing here? Why are you trying to do all this alone while everyone stands around you from morning till evening?”              Exodus 18:13-14

 

I’m not sure what our aversion is to asking for help or admitting that we need it, but most of us are like this. Maybe not in everything, and maybe not even all the time, but we tend—the vast majority of us—to avoid asking for help. For many of us, the mere suggestion gives a sense of unease.

 

And yet here we are, called by God to be in community with other believers. Called to be spurred on and challenged. Called to be a part of the Body, not its whole. In fact, the more I read in the Bible about what it looks like to follow Jesus and the more I read about what is expected of us, the more I see the central role that community plays in it. And the more I see that we are not expected to go it alone in life.

 

Our faith—the very faith of Jesus—is set up by God to be played out within the context of other believers. There is so much about following him that we can’t even do if we are isolated or unconnected to others.

 

As I was reading through Exodus 18—the visit of Moses’ father-in-law—the interaction between the two of them regarding Moses’ attempt to do it alone really struck me. Those Israelites are us. We are them. We share the same problems, the same tendencies.

 

What are you really accomplishing here? Why are you trying to do all this alone?

 

How often is this you? How often is this me? How frequently could we be asked the same thing? Why are we trying to do so much alone? Why don’t we ask for help? What are we really trying to accomplish by carrying our burdens alone?

 

Maybe it is pride and we like being the one everyone comes to. Maybe it’s value—we keep trying to get ours from what we do. Maybe it’s just a sense of trust we don’t have for others (as if we are the only ones who can do it right). Whatever the reason, I think the questions of Exodus 18 should be our wake up call.

 

What are you really accomplishing here? Why are you trying to do all this alone?

 

Invite help. Ask for assistance. Admit you can’t do it alone.

 

There is joy and freedom in the shared journey. A kind that can’t be had by walking alone.

 

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