Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Help, Please?

               “Help, please?” Two simple words that seem to be a stumbling block for us women. Help, a word that we hear throughout the bible, God is our Helper, He gives us His Holy Spirit to be our Helper,  and not only that, women were created to be “help-meets” to their husbands. So why is it so hard for us to simply go up to someone and ask for help? These are a few of the questions I had to ask myself this morning as I read the account of Moses and his father-in-law Jethro.
                 “And so it was, on the next day, that Moses sat to judge the people; and the people stood before Moses from morning till evening. So when Moses’ father-in-law saw all that he did for the people, he said, “What is this thing that you are doing for the people? Why do you alone sit, and all the people stand before you from morning until evening?”Exodus 18:13-14
                Jethro saw the ministry that Moses had, and his concern was genuine. He was not asking what he did; he was asking why no one was helping him. Jethro saw that Moses was basically doing everything; no one else seemed to step up and help him. It was Moses doing all the work, and Moses was getting worn out. Moses’ reply reminds me of something I have said as well, when asked why I was working so hard.
                “And Moses said to his father-in-law, ‘Because the people come to me to inquire of God. When they have a difficulty, they come to me, and I judge between one another; and I make known the statutes of God and His laws.” Exodus 18:15-16
                How many times have we as women failed to ask for help because we thought “if I don’t do it, no one else will?” Moses replied to his father-in-law that he was the only one that could help the people of Israel with their problems. Moses, instead of asking for help, took upon himself the whole burden of the people and tried to do it all himself. Does any of this sound familiar? Jethro, being the concerned and loving father-in-law that he was then explained to Moses what was going to happen if he kept going like he was.
                “So Moses’ father-in-law said to him, ‘The thing that you do is not good. Both you and these people who are with you will surely wear yourselves out. For this thing is too much for you; you are not able to perform it by yourself.” Exodus 18:17-18
                Jethro says to Moses, “Dude, you are going to get burnt out, and then what good are you to these people or to your family?” Moses could have asked for help, I am sure there were people around him that would have taken some of the responsibility, but delegation is not something we are good at. Too many times I have found myself trying to do it all because, just like Moses, I think that I am the only one that can do it. This shows a speck of pride in my heart. When we are unable to ask for help from others, are we basically saying to those around us, “I don’t need help- I can do it all myself, besides, you won’t do it right.” (Pride…in a nutshell)  
                We are not superwomen, we cannot do everything ourselves. When we get in the mindset that “if I don’t do it, then who will?” we are showing our pride, and a need to be in control. Jethro pointed out to Moses that there were strong and faithful men placed around him by God to help him, Moses just needed to ask for their help. So why don’t we do the same? We think that we can handle it; we think that we can get it done faster, quicker and better than anyone else, so no need to ask for help. Once again, it becomes a pride issue. So what do we do about it, then? When we recognize that asking for help is okay, and that God places people around us to help us, how do we go about getting it? We take Jethro’s advice.
                “Listen now to my voice; I will give you counsel, and God will be with you: Stand before God for the people so that you may bring the difficulties to God. And you shall teach them the statutes and the laws and show them the way in which they must walk and the work they must do. Moreover, you shall select from all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them to be rulers….” Exodus 18:19-21
                Jethro tells Moses to teach the people what they must do, get some help from those who have proven themselves to be faithful, so that they can help carry some of the responsibilities. We think that we are the only ones that are capable of doing something, but if we just took the time to teach someone what needs to be done, how much easier would the burdens we carry everyday become. We are not superwoman, and we never will be.
                It took me a long time to come to this realization. I have always been a doer, someone who sees a need and is first to fill it. I will jump right in and help wherever the need arises, but what happens when I do that? Others are affected in not so good of a way when I try to be superwoman. First, I may have stepped in when the Lord had someone else in mind for that task, and I have stopped a chance for growth in their life. Secondly, I get burnt out, fast. My pride gets in the way and I think I can leap tall buildings in a single bound and fly through the tasks with super strength and agility. When in all reality, my not asking for help hurts more than it helps.
                “Life has to be made up of priorities. We must determine what is most important and then we've got to do the most important things. It’s easy to find yourself majoring in the minor issues of no account that you really don’t have the energy and the strength for the major things.” Pastor Chuck Smith. All we have to do is ask for help.
                Leading a ministry is hard work, and it can be exhausting, but over the years the Lord has shown me the importance of asking for help, of learning to delegate the responsibilities that He has given me. Even the Apostles in the early church had to learn this lesson. Acts chapter 6 tells us that the Apostles were doing menial tasks and giving themselves to work that could have been easily delegated. Their inability to ask for help ended up in an argument between the people they were trying to help. They too had to learn to delegate and ask for help. God does not place us in a body of believers and then say to us, “Okay, now –you go and do everything, so everyone else can do nothing.” No, what He tells us is to teach, train and bring up those who are around us to help carry some of the responsibility.
                We are not superwomen, but God has given us the abilities to use, we just have to learn which ones He wants us to focus on and which ones we can delegate. Being in ministry of any kind can be overtaxing if we allow it. Moses had to learn that it was okay to ask for help, that God does not look down on you if you ask for help, in fact, He encourages us to ask for help. We as women are to be training up those who are younger in the faith, (Titus 2) how are they to learn if we are always the ones doing, instead of the ones teaching? We have to let our pride go, come to the realization that we are not invincible and simple say, “Help, please?”
                Look around at the women God has placed in your life. Let the Lord God show you which ones to bring alongside you to help you carry the responsibilities. Don’t get in the mindset that you can do it all yourself, because you can’t. Sorry to burst your bubbles today, but we are not superwomen; we cannot do it all and expect to still have the energy for anything else. God tells us He is our Helper, and through the blessings of the family of God, He gives us the help we need when we simply ask, “Help, please?”