Moses was overwhelmed by the work of trying to judge the people of Israel who had recently come out of Egypt. Jethro visited Moses and observed his stressful situation. Many times we don’t notice our frustrations, but God sends us help anyway. Jethro was a Midian priest and also the father-in-law of Moses. Breaking news had reached Jethro about everything God had done for Moses and the people of Israel. Even Moses’ son Eliezer gave God the honor and praise for saving them from the sword of the Pharaoh.
Why was the visit from Moses’ family helpful to him? Camping in the wilderness probably made Moses most grateful. At that time Moses had not recognized his tiredness and the level of his stress! We know that God can put the right people in our lives at the right time to lift us up spiritually. Who showed up to support Moses? Who did God send? Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, together with Moses’ two sons (Gershom and Eliezer), and his wife Zipporah came to his camp. Moses was not surprised for he had been told that this visit would be made. They were greeted with love and affection. Being human, we know Moses had missed his family.
Was the visit meaningful? Without hesitation Moses told his father-in-law everything! Moses bowed down and kissed Jethro while telling him everything the Lord had done to Pharaoh and the Egyptians for Israel’s sake and also about hardships they escaped. Moses boasted about the goodness of God. How did Jethro show his gratitude when he heard about all the good things God had done for the people of Israel?
What comforting words Jethro uttered when he said “The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone” (Exodus 18:18). God has placed people within our reach who are willing to assist us. They may be family or good friends who are willing to use their gifts when help is needed. Why suffer when help is available? Give God the glory for all of his help. Because the Israelites looked to Moses for everything, he tried to be all things to all people. He almost reached a breaking point! During the visit, his father-in-law suggested he delegate some of his authority and let others make less important decisions while he made the more important ones. It worked! Moses did what Jethro told him and it enabled him to succeed in his assignment.
Those under his care were able to enjoy a sense of accomplishment. It was a win-win for everybody. Do we sometimes feel overburdened? Are we reluctant to let others help us? Reach for help; accept help because we may live longer and enjoy life more if we are less stressed. Let us thank God for opportunities of Christian assistance!
Mrs. Gladys R. McElmore, a resident of Norfolk’s Middle Town Arch Community, is a New Journal and Guide Freelance Contributor on religion. She is a native of Essex County, Va.