The summer seemed to fly by and suddenly we had reached our last scheduled Ruby meeting (of the six meetings we had originally planned, two had been cancelled due to vacations). We shared some of the personal growth we each had the blessing to recognize in our own lives based on the studies we had completed.
The last topic I wanted to cover involved something that pretty much all women have in their lives. In order to exemplify the issue with the Rubies, I brought a large, camping style water jug filled with water. It weighed approximately 50lbs and was a very bulky shape to hold onto for the average size adult - never mind a bunch of skinny teenager girls!
The full jug was handed to one Ruby and another Ruby was asked to look up a verse and dictate it to yet another Ruby who wrote the verse on the chalkboard:
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
The jug represented all the burdens we, as Christian women, take onto ourselves unnecessarily(we will always have burdens that God does expect us to bear, i.e. following the path of righteousness in our day-to-day lives). I asked each Ruby to consider what kind of burdens they were holding onto unnecessarily at this point in their lives. We discussed how easily our energies can be drained by these burdens. For example, worrying about the choices that our friends are making; trying to organize family members and friends lives; considering how to cause a change in way their authorities behave, etc.
All women carry some burden that God has not asked them carry. The example of trying to cause a change in those around us is a BIG one - 'how can I get my husband to (?)'; 'what do I need to do to bring (?) to see the importance of (?)'
We turned our attention to the book of Nehemiah. In chapter 1 & 2, we read how God laid a concern on Nehemiah's heart for the restoration of Israel. It was a valid burden for an Israelite man, but he was a captive servant to the foreign king. And as he dealt with this new burden, we read how he immediately went to the Lord. And again, when the king noticed how sad Nehemiah was acting and asked about it, Nehemiah went to God in prayer before expressing his burden to his captor (chapter 2:4).
Would a woman have done it this way? Or would we have made a grand plan on how to 'convince' the king to help her; 'manipulate' the king with emotions; 'lie' to the king to get what she wanted?
The scripture tells us that because Nehemiah went to God first with his burden, God provided his desired outcome and alot more! The king gave Nehemiah a free pass to work on rebuilding Jerusalem, AND gave him materials for building, AND gave him members of the army as escorts, AND gave him letters to encourage others to help his cause - because the heart of the king is in the hand of the Lord! Just as the hearts of our authorities is in His hand, as well.
Again we asked the questions that have formed our studies - do we care what God has to tell us? Do we really trust Him to do what is best for us - even if it isn't what we desire in our selfish hearts?
Now unto him that is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.
Finally we left with the prayer that we be found faithful in our choices, in our relationships and in our witness for Him.
For the eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.