I’m currently reading “Dying to Lead, Sacrificial Leadership in a Self-Centered World” by Robert McKenna for my servant leadership class. In chapter 7 it recalls the story of Moses and God in Exodus 4:10-13, and Moses reluctantly to speak and lead the people. I like how the book paraphrases God’s words to Moses: “Who gave man a mouth” Is there any chance that the creator of the mouth could work with the ineloquent mouth of Moses? God seems pretty sure that he can provide for Moses. The author goes on to say that deep down you probably are aware that you don’t have what it takes to lead anyone or anything, but the creator of the mouths has the power to keep you moving toward his agenda. That is some good news, and a huge weight off my back. It’s pretty easy for me to try and get ahead of God if I’m not thinking on having a mindset of surrender and trust. I’m constantly being reminded of this as I journey through seminary. There are challenging class discussions, books I don’t understand, and struggles in the Word at times. Talk about mind stretching. But it always seems to bring me back to the feet of Jesus where it all began. I’ve figured out that this is a journey with God, and that He’s still the Pilot. I look back at the conversation in Exodus 4 and am reminded that God will develop in me what He will, He will guide my understanding, He will allot the time needed and He will encourage me along the way as I surrender and obey. This holds true for every area of my life, such as motherhood as now my daughter has climbed up on my lap for some attention. I was reminded of God’s leading again yesterday as I sat with a new family that I had just met, who had openly shared many of the challenges of their life and current circumstances. The husband joked “hey aren’t you glad you sat next to me” realiziing how much he was loading on, which I jokingly replied back something like ” hey, I’m a seminary student, it’s great practice”. But in all seriouness, I’ve learned to listen to others more intently and not be quick to give a “fixing” answer, but to help them to maybe re-frame the situation throug a causual conversation. Again, here is a delicate balance of showing genuine concern for others without getting sucked into their issues; funny, now that I type this, the subject of boundaries came up in the discussion last night. I think that is one of the reasons Jesus spent so much time in prayer because he was constantly dealing with people’s issues and we all know how draining that can be. He knew He had to get filled up by and be completly dependent upon God to be able to really help people, and the same is true for us. I can’t image what that must have been like for Jesus who, wherever he went, people sought him out for some type of healing. It has been a great reminder for me, from this past week, when one of my Pastors’s reminded me that we can never fully serve others unless we are filled up by the love of Christ, and it is through that love that we can love others. Going back to this family last night, there were other family members there with kids, and you could tell they needed some extra TLC. I had a bag of toys and food that we ended up sharing with them. The parent’s kept apologizing for the kids, but I simply said “it’s just food” and when I had walked away for a minute to get some water, I had come back to a report that my daughter was sharing the grapes with the other kids, and I reminded her that we area being like Jesus when we do that, it was a beautiful, teachable moment indeed, and one filled with grace and love for others. I didn’t share the food out of trying to “look good” but because my heart went out to these people; it’s what Jesus would have done, and I know it’s what he wanted me to do. I guess the point in all my rambling here is this: The more I decease the more He increases, and the more I am filled up by His love, the more room I give him to work, the more I surrender the more He reminds me on my utter dependence on him. It’s so God-like, as I was celebrating my independence yesterday on the 4th of July; God used it to remind me of my utter dependence on him. Today as I recalled last nights events my heart cried out for this family and their relatives, and once again God reminded me that my job is to love and pray for them, and he’ll do the rest as I obey. Thank you Jesus for this great lesson of your love and reminder of your power that you work through us. Thank you for bringing so many new people in my life and helping me to relate and love them in the way that you would. Help me to continually lean on you and be filled up by your love so I am able to give it away to those who need to be strengthened by the hope that you give. I love you and trust you and surrender in all things right now to you, and I am excited to see what you will do through your people as we live to bring you glory through our obedience, fully aware that it is only through the power of your loves that fills us up, that we have the indescribable privilege to be used by you. In Jesus Holy Name I pray all these things forth, Amen!