God has been all over me to dig in His Word today. As I sit down to do some reading I decide it's probably a good idea to start with the book He keeps pushing towards me today...Exodus. So I open up to Exodus and my eyes fall on a section called "Bricks Without Straw" and this part of a scripture...
"...They are lazy, that is why they are crying out..." Exodus 5:8
Lazy...hmmm, where did I see that word today? Oh yes, I remember, in my vintage "Anti-Satan Kit" I just bought at one of our little antique stores in town. I saw it and had to have it! The card that I pulled out first was "Laziness", I even took a picture of it to show my finds earlier today.
The card read...
"Relax. You need your rest. Besides, what can you do?..."
God had told me recently to stop crying out and just move forward, so today was better than yesterday. What I've found is, that the busier I am, the less time I spend with Him and so I get frustrated with the balance of trusting in Him and spending time with Him (which can feel lazy) and then working and moving forward. It's a hard balance, let's face it. It's simply not true that we are lazy when we spend precious time with Him.
Then I read this... "Make the work harder for the men so that they keep working and pay no attention to lies." Exodus 5:9
Lies (according to the Pharaoh) being that we are to take time to worship our God and spend time with him. Make the work harder by making them collect the straw. Like a ton of bricks, yes pun intended, I realized that my work gets harder as a distraction. I'm doing all the "little" things that God could be handling. When it feels too hard or that I'm being drawn away from my time with Him, then that work is fruitless. It's time to rest and be refilled.
MAKE BRICKS! Make Bricks! make bricks...
The scripture makes it very clear that the Israelite's were to continue making the same amount of bricks, everyday AND that included collecting the straw to go in them. Just because the Pharaoh added to their work didn't mean he wanted them to produce less...this was all on purpose.
As a mom, I deceive myself into thinking I can do everything. My kids should have fresh hair cuts, their clothes should be neatly hanging in their closet, their meals should all be healthy, the house should always be clean, and so on. As a wife, I do the same thing. I picture every mom or wife I have seen through the years and admired. I remember my mothers immaculate house, my friends polished children', the friends whose clothes look dry cleaned, the meals the magazine moms make, and I mentally punish myself for not being the best, better even, and I question my abilities. Did I remember all their dentist appointments, are the doctors bills paid up, is the toilet paper in the guest bathroom...is it clean.
i need to was dishes...MAKE BRICKS!
I have phone calls to make...MAKE BRICKS!
I have dinner to cook...MAKE BRICKS!
I have fold laundry...MAKE BRICKS!
I need to match socks...MAKE BRICKS!
Sometimes, it feels like I'm expected to make bricks but first there are 100 other things I need to do first. The Israelite's had to gather straw first to make their bricks, their work became harder but God had a plan for release.
A great lie...
All those 100 little things are necessary in order to make my "bricks" and my work complete but are those little things keeping me from worshiping my GOD! My God who is capable who gave me the verse Psalms 121:1-2. Where does my help come from? It comes from the Lord. I am lying to myself when I tell myself I can do it ALL!
My friend says "I can do all things but I don't have to do all the things."
So, while I need to keep making my bricks for now, God has claimed victory for me if I'll release and let Him help. He will accomplish more than I ever thought I could on my own. Exodus 6:6
Oh and don't forget...
The straw, while very important and very much needed could be collected by someone else...delegate!
I won't always be making bricks.