Exodus 18:13 The next day Moses sat as judge for the people, while the people stood around him from morning until evening. 14 When Moses’ father-in-law saw all that he was doing for the people, he said, “What is this that you are doing for the people? Why do you sit alone, while all the people stand around you from morning until evening?” 15 Moses said to his father-in-law, “Because the people come to me to inquire of God. 16 When they have a dispute, they come to me and I decide between one person and another, and I make known to them the statutes and instructions of God.” 17 Moses’ father-in-law said to him, “What you are doing is not good. 18 You will surely wear yourself out, both you and these people with you. For the task is too heavy for you; you cannot do it alone.”
Reading this chapter it’s clear that Moses’ father-in-law Jethro was not present in Egypt or in the wilderness thus far. As Jethro spends time with Moses he’s seeing things with fresh eyes. It’s obvious to him that Moses will kill himself if he continues serving as the one and only judge for the entire nation of Israel. In the verses following our passage he offers Moses a way to address the needs of the people in a far less burdensome fashion. What a gift to Moses!
It’s hard to assess our situation when we’re in the weeds. This passage reminds me how helpful it can be to invite others into my difficult situations. Even though, if I’m honest, I’m often reluctant to do so. Nevertheless, other people can often see things that I cannot. We’re not designed by God to deal with life’s struggles alone. This morning I’m asking myself, “What situations am I trying to handle alone, when I actually need a fresh set of eyes to give me perspective?”
Heavenly Father, you created human beings for community – for many reasons. We’re not designed to handle life’s burdens alone. Give us grace to invite trusted brothers and sisters into our difficult situations, for they can often see things we cannot. We pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.