October 10, 2011

Every Man according to his service- no more than we can bear

I shake my head at myself as I continue slowly through the book of Numbers. Getting past chapter 7 has proven to be a challenge. I have read and reread the beginning of this chapter several times already. And then I stop. Sometimes it's because of a "light-bulb" moment. Sometimes it's external forces at work. I have not made it to the end. It disappoints me. I want to finish. Then I read...

Numbers 7: 3-9
3And they brought their offering before the LORD, six covered wagons, and twelve oxen; a wagon for two of the princes, and for each one an ox: and they brought them before the tabernacle.
 4And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
 5Take it of them, that they may be to do the service of the tabernacle of the congregation; and thou shalt give them unto the Levites, to every man according to his service.
 6And Moses took the wagons and the oxen, and gave them unto the Levites.
 7Two wagons and four oxen he gave unto the sons of Gershon, according to their service:
 8And four wagons and eight oxen he gave unto the sons of Merari, according unto their service, under the hand of Ithamar the son of Aaron the priest.
 9But unto the sons of Kohath he gave none: because the service of the sanctuary belonging unto them was that they should bear upon their shoulders.

When God instructed Moses to distribute the gift offerings to the Levites, each family unit had their distinct part to play in the upkeep of the tabernacle. From the outside looking in it seems disproportionate. But God never puts on us more than we can bear. Maybe the sons of Kohath were gifted with other-worldly strength, and could "bear upon their shoulders". Maybe the sons of Kohath were prideful and  to "bear upon their shoulders" helped maintain their humble spirit. Maybe the sons of Kohath, were the very opposite, needing a boost in their confidence as men, and to "bear upon their shoulders" ignited their self-esteem. Only God knows.
With the entire family of God, only  God knows as well. One may wonder why this one seems more gifted or blessed than the next. One may think it unfair that one sister or brother or another is seemingly going through more valleys than the next.  It may seem that this person has more "time" to give to God, or the other can't break even with time to spend with God. Just know that God, who is all-seeing, knows the deepest, most intricate parts of us. than even we could ever know. He knows the precise experiences it will take to mold us into the complete person in God we are to be. Our lives are inter-woven with the lives of others that we may not even know exist. 
My prayer today is that we learn to look through the eyes of the Lord, at ourselves, and those around us. I pray that we seek him with all that we have to give. That is what he expects- not more or less. Through the day relate to him with all that we have to give. Each season in our life varies from one to the next. But be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruits, in its season.
God plans our seasons. He knows them. He gives to every one of his children according to our service- what he expects from us. He doesn't put more on us than we can bear, so why should we?

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