“I will take some of the Spirit that is on you and put it on them, and they shall bear the burden of the people with you, so that you may not bear it yourself alone.”
Moses was overwhelmed by the burden of leading God’s people. More than that, he felt alone. Constant complaints, lack of resources, conflicted relationships, and people longing for the days of the past. Sound familiar? While church leaders today are not tasked with leading God’s people to the literal promised land, they do face similar frustrations that come with the yoke of leadership. Part of Moses’ complaint to God was the acknowledgement of the burden of being alone.
Many of those who have carry the mantle of leadership in congregations struggle with the feeling of isolation. With whom can they share the burden? Who around them will offer a listening ear and a caring heart? The Scriptures are filled with examples of how God provides companionship for those who are called to lead God’s people. Two are indeed better than one! So, when our Lord sends out the seventy-two, they go forth in pairs. Our Lord serves us through His Word in corporate worship, in our personal devotions, but also in the Word spoken to us by another. For those who feel alone, my prayer is that you would see elders, fellow staff members, neighboring pastors and spouse as examples of how God has blessed you so that you do not bear the burden of leadership alone.
When you feel overwhelmed by the demands that are placed on you, find comfort in knowing that you’re not alone even in that feeling. Moses and Elijah knew those same struggles. But also, may you know that God has indeed provided you with others who can walk alongside you and bear the burden with you.
Rev. Gene Wyssmann, from the Missouri District staff, spends much of his time providing this type of support for our church workers. If you feel isolated and alone, please reach out to someone in your congregation or circuit or contact Gene Wyssmann. Thanks be to God that He strengthens us through His Word and Sacrament, but also that He blesses us with the care and support of others so that we can be reminded that we are never alone.
Prayer – Almighty God, merciful Father, You have promised never to leave us nor forsake us but to abide with us to the end of time. Grant that those who dwell in loneliness may find a place of healthful solace and pleasant fellowship among Your faithful people; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Fraternally in Christ,
President Lee Hagan