The other day I’d got all my purchases in my trolley and headed to the checkout. I chose the shortest of all the long queues, and then bingo! the next checkout opened up and they beckoned people over. So I was second in that queue. Eventually it was my turn; the assistant turned to me and said, “This is a cash-only checkout – the card reader has broken. That OK?” Of course it was not OK – I had no cash! “Why didn’t you tell me earlier? I’ve lost my place in the other queue now!” The assistant mouthed a quick “sorry”: it was not her problem. I had to go back to my original queue behind the person who had been behind me originally and who had a huge trolley-full. Do you ever stomp inwardly? I seriously stomped inwardly!
God had plans to make Pharaoh sit up and listen, to free the people of Israel from slavery. He instructed Moses to give him due warning, then to turn all the waters of the Nile, the streams, canals, ponds, and everywhere else to blood (Exodus 7:14-24) Was Pharaoh concerned? Did it bother him that his people would have no water? Not a bit of it! He was Pharaoh. His people would jolly well have to dig around and find enough for him, and then themselves. They’d find a way. It was not his problem!
Sometimes we come across people who have real troubles; and I’m not talking about little irritations like having to wait longer in a queue. It somehow adds to their burden that they can’t get anyone to take their issues seriously; they feel helpless and disempowered because no-one will listen, no-one cares, no-one thinks it’s their problem. Sometimes just stopping to listen to someone can help; a little sensible advice can shed new light on the issue; a shoulder to cry on, or a little practical help can go such a long way. But it takes time. MY time.
When God saw the mess people made of this world, he didn’t step back and say, “It’s not my problem.” He got involved and found a solution. And it cost a lot more than time. Now I can’t take on all the woes in the world, but maybe for the troubled folk I stumble across, maybe I could lighten a load by taking a little time to make it my problem too.