I am rightly dividing our labors, God’s and mine, these days. I am clearer on what His work is and what my work is, and learning not to confuse the two. He tells me to do certain things: Widen my heart (2 Corinthians 6:11-13). In turn He will do certain things: “He gives more grace” (James 4:6). He tells me to send for the elders when my husband is sick (James 5:14). He reserves the right to do the healing in His way and timing, which are not particularly any of my business (James 5:15).
I feel peaceful as long as I am not trying to do God’s job. It was too much of a burden for me to run the universe and I am relieved to shed the mantle. Long-term outcomes turned out not to be my forte. God is better at outcomes; I am only meant for pinpoint obedience, within a circular spotlight the diameter of a lamp unto my feet. God sees around corners; mine is to trust there is not a Mack truck headed toward me ’round that bend.
There is a sense in which all life is nothing more than a challenge to rightly divide the labor of God and the labor of man. I spent my first 60 years trying to have control, and I resolve to spend my remaining years giving control back to Him. Not presumption, just overdue obedience—and the wisdom gleaned from doing it the wrong way for so long.
Rightly dividing is an activity not once and done but yanked back to every moment like a steering wheel that tends to veer adrift. At this moment fear of hypothetical scenarios is nibbling at the edges of my consciousness. Rightly dividing means catching those red-flag feelings, tracing them to their source, and swiftly getting back to my place of peace. The process is no more sophisticated than a kindergarten drill: “Trust in the LORD and do good,” this minute. “Trust in the LORD and do good,” the next minute. “Trust in the LORD and do good,” the minute after that (Psalm 37:3).
I spy both solemn pillars in that verse: I “trust in the LORD” because He is the one who will accomplish my blessedness, will straighten out my crooked prayers, and alone is powerful enough to transform my heart. I “do good” while God is masterfully performing all those other things. “Doing good” is very humble instructions: I am not expected to have much expertise in extricating myself from troubles; it is enough that I “do good” in all the ordinary ways that He commands, while He does all the heavy lifting.
I will not be God today. I will be his faithful child.