“When Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples, he went on from there to teach and preach in their cities.”  (Matthew 11:1 ESV)


“He comes where He commands us to leave.”  Oswald Chambers


Allow me to share why this verse and the quote by Oswald Chambers meant so much to me when I read it.  Perhaps it will speak to you and bless you as it did me? If you would like to know one of my biggest struggles in life I would have to be honest and say it is holding on to something that I really care about too tightly.  I have a protector instinct.  I know this about me, and when it engages I feel great concern for what I perceive may be a problem.  I wade into a friend or loved one’s problem and share it, and if I can I try to fix it. My greatest concerns are generally my family, friends and God’s call on my life to help people who He has put in my path.  Because I am a husband, father, grandfather and friend I see my role as a protector and mentor to be seamless with God’s call.  Like you I have spiritual gifts that I should use to build up these people and help them grow in Christ.  When they falter I tend to enter that aspect of their life, and it generally happens that their burdens become my burdens.  I find that I think less about myself but rather those people and their perceived needs.  I’ve revealed this dynamic to you for I want you to see my makeup and the tension I carry. There is a reason.


Before you ask I will answer you.  Yes, I am carrying too much concern.   I am carrying way more than the Lord would want me to carry. As good as my intentions might be, they can be misconstrued as controlling.  If there is any truth to this, it would be that I carry a burden to control the outcome because that is what protectors do.  In my mind it is always to bless and not to control.  What this does, however, is put way too much responsibility on a person like me to carry someone else’s burden.  Is that a good thing?  I think we would all agree that it is not a good thing.  But how do we escape our instincts to care too much or involve our self too much with being a real friend or loving family member and not abandon our help in a time when they need it?  I find that some people simply don’t care enough to care, and it is an easy decision to stay out of it for them.  But is this really the work of a loving caring God in their life to not care, or not help if they can?  It is a real dilemma isn’t it for us fixers and protectors?  That has been my struggle for a long time, and now I can share why the verse and the thought by Chambers means so much to me.


Look carefully at these words in Chambers quote: “He comes where He commands us to leave.”  What is this thought saying to me?  It is a thought that I do not abandon my responsibility when I entrust it to Christ.  Actually, I enable God’s responsibility in that person by moving out of the way. You see some of our good intentions actually become detrimental in the development of someone, whether he or she be friend, family or someone we mentor.  We can see this with family’s who struggle with co-dependent relationships.  I think it is a true statement that we think we help by showing our love, our resources, and our help by always being the protector or savior to a person who seems to always be in need of help.  But we are not helping that person.  We are actually debilitating their development.  We see this problem in families way to frequently.  Surprisingly we can also we see it in our friendships and people we mentor?


As an example:  I have discovered through the years that to have a true friend we must be a true friend.  The best friendships are well balanced in giving and receiving.  The kiss of death in a friendship occurs when it goes only one way.  If we are the constant giver or taker and not get or give much in return, an erosion begins that leads to the end.  We can hang in there with it and endure it and tell ourselves it will change.  But the truth is we are the cause of it.  How so? We enable our friend to not be friend to us, or we neglect to give him of her what they need from a friend.  We never allow the other person to grow to be a true friend for we hold it too tightly.  This is true for friendships and it is true with our family. 


So, we see the problem, but what can we do about it?  Again, this is the freedom I received from the thought conveyed by Chambers.  When we entrust those loved ones and friends and things that we care deeply for to the Lord, we enable God’s work to begin in their life to form them as He wants them and not get in the way of God.  This allows Him to do His work without our interference.   We stay involved with them with our prayers and our concern.  But we do not take the burden on our self to control the outcome. He gives them the help they need and the freedom we need.


When it comes down to it, we have never been asked by the Lord to take away someone else’s responsibilities. Their responsibilities must always be between the Lord and the person, and this for sure includes those people we care for. We must not take a burden the Lord has never asked us to carry.  He welcomes those people we are concerned for, and by their seeking Him rather than what you and I can do for them, they grow closer to Him and grow up in Him. God only asks us to be encouragers and share our resources if needed in emergencies.  He asks us to help another person grow in Christ by serving, teaching and pointing them to Him.  Beyond that we are told to not get in the way of their development and become to them what He must be to them.   


Remember this truth:  When we entrust those people we care for, and when we entrust those things we are concerned about to God, we deliver them to Him who is able to do more than we can ask for or even hope for.  He tells me all the time and I need to listen to these words ….




Allow Him to show you that He really does have it.