Pause

Often, when life isn’t working out the way we imagined or hoped, our impulse is to pray for God to change things.

We think, “if only” things were different, “if only” people were better, “if only” our needs were met, “if only” the pain went away, “if only” the choices were simple, “if only” temptation disappeared, “if only, if only…”

Sometimes God does transform situations, but more often, God changes us… if only we ask.

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Listen

"I can’t bear this people on my own. They’re too heavy for me. If you’re going to treat me like this, please kill me. If I’ve found favor in your eyes, then don’t let me endure this wretched situation.”

Numbers 11:14-15

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Think

Being in partnership with God is no easy calling. Together, God and Moses accomplished the impossible: the people’s freedom. Together, God and Moses would lead the people through forty years of desert wandering and to a Promised Land.

And together, God and Moses would care for the peoples’ needs — body and soul — along the way.

When Moses felt overwhelmed with this responsibility, he knew he could turn to his partner, the God of freedom, the God of promise, the God of care. He knew he didn’t have to shoulder the heavy burden on his own. Just as God had provided manna for the people, God would provide for Moses, too! Moses asked God for exactly what he needed: a relief from the weight of responsibility.

Being in partnership with God is no lonely calling, because we can trust God to hear our anger, our fatigue, our sadness. We can trust God to help us carry our heaviest struggles. And we can trust God to provide for us in surprising ways.

Nikki Finkelstein-Blair

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Pray

Remind me, God, that I am not walking your way alone. I am not doing your work alone. You are always my partner, and you desire to take care of me. Help me to ask for your help when I need it, and help me to see your help when it comes. Amen.

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Go

God doesn’t only change us; God changes the world through us. When our attitudes are transformed, God can transform the people and situations we encounter.

If only we choose wisely when options are hard,
if only we respond kindly when people are cruel,
if only we act boldly when someone is hurt...

May God use us to answer the “if only” prayers of our world.

Nikki Finkelstein-Blair

Rev. Nicole Finkelstein-Blair is a 2001 graduate of Central Baptist Seminary and an ordained Baptist minister. As a military family for the past 15 years, she and her husband Scott and their two boys have found “church homes” across the country and across denominations. For fun, she writes, reads, knits, and helps the school librarian make bulletin boards. :)

Stillness

Carter Harrell: Making Space

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