In college, I was one of the most enthusiastic students. on campus. Work was hectic, from writing center jobs to school and local city reporters. But so was her personal life. I led a dance team, helped her with two to three worship teams at a time, invested in runs and workouts, gained on-the-job teaching experience, and eventually became a student leader. I managed to get my first boyfriend!
On the outside, I was thriving. Everyone considered me lucky. Joy oozed from my being and I loved life. I was happy, carefree and passionate. But as time went on, I got tired. And my grandmother was the first to see this.
“You need to rest, Amber.” Her soft lips said something I didn’t want to hear.
“I think you are overextending yourself, and [you’re] too busy. I need time for myself. I’m afraid I’ll eventually burn out.” Her words fell on deaf ears to my ignorance.
I was set my way.
I was in denial too.
error of ignorance
At the time, I didn’t really believe her. She was busy and stressed, but she loved it. That was me. But looking back now, it’s embarrassing to admit she was right, and I wish she had listened to her sooner.
Today, I am a 27-year-old girl who feels more alive than thriving. I have been diagnosed with nearly half a dozen mental and physical health conditions, and I can’t help but think that if I had had the chance to listen to my grandmother’s wisdom, my life would have been very different.
of exodus 18I believe that Moses’ interaction with his father-in-law Jethro teaches us similar lessons:
fruit of obedience
After leading the Israelites through the Red Sea and freeing them from Pharaoh’s wrath, Moses was called to be the leader of these people. And his father-in-law Jethro saw this:
“Now Jethro, the priest of Midian and the father-in-law of Moses, heard all that God had done for Moses and his people Israel, and how the Lord brought Israel out of Egypt. Moses After sending his wife Zipporah away, his father-in-law Jethro took her and her two sons. The other was named Eliezer. God my father helped me and saved me from Pharaoh’s sword. Jethro, the father-in-law of Moses, came with Moses’ sons and his wife into the wilderness, and he was encamped near the mountain of God. Law Jethro, I come to you with your wife and two sons. ” (Exodus 18:1-6New International Edition).
However, when he arrives, Jethro becomes concerned.
Moses is indeed leading the people. But he’s also the only person to handle their additional duties.
“The next day Moses sat down and stood around him from morning till night to judge the people. “Are you doing for the people? Why do you alone sit as a judge while they stand around you from morning till night?” replied, “Because people come to me asking for God’s will. Whenever they have a dispute, it is brought to me. I decide between the parties and follow God’s command.” and give them instructions.” (Exodus 18:13-16New International Edition).
In my mind I have many conversations:
weight of responsibility
“Moses, Bob’s cow stepped on my sheep and now they are both hurt. What should I do?”
“Moses, Sarah ate my extra food. How’s that?”
“Moses, my family has sinned today. How many offerings and sacrifices do we need to bring?”
“Moses..” The list goes on as his mind falters. And oddly enough, I can empathize with this moment.
“Amber, did you write that article?” my boss asks.
“Amber, I need to work another shift.” The Writing Center demands.
“Amber, our dance needs a little more practice,” the dance team notes.
“Amber, I need you for three more teacher meetings after school.”
And just as Moses began to move forward, so did I.
Moses’ father-in-law said, “What you are doing is not good. 19 Now listen, I will give you some advice, may God be with you, and you will represent the people before God and turn their disputes over to him. Teach them his statutes and instructions. Appoint officials in the thousands, hundreds, fifty, dozens..always, but let them bring all the hard cases to you. Simple cases they decide for themselves. It will lighten your load, for they will share it with you. and everyone will go home satisfied.” (Exodus 18:17-23New International Edition).
gift of wisdom
At that moment, Moses was faced with the choice of listening to Jethro or ignoring his advice. I think there is a reason the Bible talks about learning wisdom from the elders. Gray hair has victory and learning from our experience.
That’s probably why verse 24 reads:
“Moses listened to his father-in-law and did everything he said” (Exodus 18:24New International Edition).
Not only did Moses learn from Jethro and accept his advice, but he got better results in doing so.
“He chose able men from all Israel and made them leaders of the people, officials of thousands, hundreds, fifty, dozens. They always served as judges of the people. Then Moses sent his father-in-law away, and Jethro returned to his own country.” (Exodus 18:25-27New International Edition).
The advice of many elders is not intended to offend or provoke. To bring peace and help from the wisdom of the ages. Many may be dogmatic at times or offer quirky, outdated advice, but most of us are genuinely in our best interest.Moses knows Jethro. I also knew my grandmother. But unlike Moses, I was stubborn and chose to go my own way. I would do anything to go back and listen to her advice.
accept a gift
In life God may call us to great and wonderful things. Something much bigger, wider, and bigger than we ask, plan, or imagine for ourselves. But God never asks us to do so for our health and sanity, or for ourselves.
It was not good for Moses to handle many things alone. It is not good for me or you to think that we are superhumans who can travel 75 miles a day, 7 days a week without rest. for Sera. We share each other’s burdens and lighten the load.
“By carrying each other’s burdens, we can fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2New International Edition).
This is a lesson I’m still learning, but I encourage you to do the same. Listen to those who give you advice. Their advice may not be what you want to hear, and it’s not always right. But if they love you, it’s worth listening to. They may just have your best interests at heart.
Photo credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/DisobeyArt
Amber Ginter A young adult writer currently working as an English teacher in Chillicothe, Ohio, with a passionate desire to make an impact in the world for Jesus through his love of writing, aesthetics, health/fitness, and ministry. I’m here. Amber seeks to proclaim her love for Christ and the Gospel through her writing, the art of aesthetic worship, and her volunteer role.She has been enrolled at the YWW Author Conservatory, has become a full-time author, and has been featured on Crosswalk. is also a writer of