You know, we're not meant to live life alone.
Of course, our lives as believers are inextricably intertwined with the Lord. He is beside us, before us, and within us. We are forever linked…
But, while we walk on this earth, we can sometimes feel awfully alone.
Alone with our thoughts and feelings. Alone with our struggles and suffering. Alone with our fears and temptations.
We pray…oh how we pray.
But sometimes, we can still feel alone and helpless and distressed.
I find myself feeling this way lately.
My friends, I am in a season of wilderness – a dry and difficult season. I know I have shared before, and I certainly hope I'm not belaboring the point, but it's true – I am struggling.
This is supposed to be the year of JOY – and yet, I cannot remember a more difficult year. The details are not important. I know you've felt the same. Times when it takes energy to explain the circumstances, and you're *just not feeling it.* That's OK, because what's really important is to let someone know how you're doing...how you're really doing.
So here I am.
Letting you know.
I actually just wrote an email to a friend of mine, asking her to pray for me. In it I mentioned that I needed some *Aaron and Hur arms* to help uphold me. That got me thinking.
So I checked out the story from the Bible:
"So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. When Moses' hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up – one on one side, one on the other – so that his hands remained steady till sunset. So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword." (From Exodus 17, NIV)
Yes, Joshua overcame. And Moses helped…with the added aid of some very close friends.
I love that the Lord doesn't expect us to walk the journey of faith alone. In fact, He calls us to be in community:
"And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near." (Hebrews 10:25, NLT)
In the past, I have gone through years when I didn't go to church. And it was hard. I believe that the enemy of our souls likes it that way. It seems to me that he enjoys "isolating us from the herd" – his attacks are more effective when we aren't in fellowship.
Because community brings the solace and encouragement and strength that we desperately need and seek.
Let's look at that story from Exodus again:
Moses was undoubtedly doing exactly what God had called him to do. God had instructed Moses time and again how to utilize the staff to accomplish His purposes.
So I'm pretty sure that God told Moses to hold up that staff. And I'm betting that He told Moses what would happen if he did.
But, here's the part that I love.
Moses, his heart willing, his actions obedient, was doing what God told him to do.
But, he grew tired.
(Don't we all??)
So Moses needed help.
Read Matthew Henry's commentary:
"[Note] the care that was taken for the support of Moses. When he could not stand any longer he sat down…when he could not hold up his hands, he would have them held up. Moses, the man of God, is glad of the assistance of Aaron…and Hur…We should not be shy either of asking help from others or giving help to others, for we are members one of another. Moses' hands, thus stayed, were steady till the going down of the sun…"
Moses relied on the assistance of others to sustain his efforts at doing what God wanted him to do.
For he was tired and weary.
His spirit was willing, but his flesh grew weak.
This is when the Body of Christ is most needed, most greatly appreciated, and most richly rewarded – when we stand alongside each other, supporting each other with prayer, and sometimes with a helping hand, listening ear, or shoulder to cry on.
More from Matthew Henry:
"The church's cause is, commonly, more or less successful according as the church's friends are more or less strong in faith and fervent in prayer."
The church united in intercessory prayer is a powerful weapon. Friends supporting others during difficult times become emissaries of the Lord Himself. They bring His comfort and peace and encouragement.
They become the Spirit of the Living Lord to each other.
This is Biblical truth, I believe. We know that the Holy Spirit comes to dwell within us when we accept Jesus as our Savior. And so, in some mysterious way, the presence of God can literally be experienced in the company of others.
The Aarons and Hurs in our lives are the arms that uphold us when we are weak and weary. They are the ones who strengthen us, and help us stand firm.
And so, I am turning to you guys.
Would you pray for me?
Could you be the arms that help me hold up my hands in faith?
I'll tell you why I'm asking.
Because I need it…
…and because it works!
So, how can I also pray for you this week?
In Christ we,
form one body,
and each member
belongs to all the others.
"Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad." (Proverbs 12:25, ESV)
"Encourage the exhausted, and strengthen the feeble. Say to those with anxious heart, 'Take courage, fear not. Behold, your God will come…He will save you.'" (Isaiah 35:3-4, NASB)
"All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful…Therefore strengthen the hands that are weak and the knees that are feeble, and make straight paths for your feet, so that the limb which is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed." (Hebrews 12:11-13, NASB)
"So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing." (1 Thessalonians 5:11, NLT)
"Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them." (Ephesians 4:29, NLT)
"Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble…A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken." (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, 12, NLT)
"'For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.'" (Matthew 18:20, ESV)
"…may the Lord cause you to increase and abound in love for one another…"
(1 Thessalonians 3:12, NASB)
And here are the words that Jesus prayed over us:
"'…Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail.'" (Luke 22:31-32, ESV)
"'I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one.'" (John 17:13, ESV)
How can I pray for you?
(Please leave a prayer request in your comment)
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