We need each other. And there is no shame in that.
Even Moses needed Aaron and Hur to hold his arms up during a battle between the Israelites and the Amalekites, after the Amalekites attacked them. As long as he held up the staff in his hand, the Israelites kept winning, but when he lowered them, the tide turned and the Amalekites began winning (Exodus 17).
“Moses’ arms soon became so tired he could no longer hold them up.” Exod 17:11 (NLT) So what did his friends do? What they didn’t do was preach at him and tell him to be strong.
Instead, “Aaron and Hur found a stone for him to sit on. Then they stood on each side of Moses, holding up his hands. So his hands held steady until sunset.” Exod. 17:12 (NLT) Moses was human, made of dust, like the rest of us. But even though he grew tired that day, Moses was the one through which God poured His power. His friends got the privilege of aiding him in keeping his arms up.
A friend of mine told me recently that someone had admonished her to be strong, to learn to fight her own battles. Hearing it made me cringe inside. She has suffered in a way that few people can understand, a way that drives some people to suicide, yet she loves God and fights to keep faith. Willing herself to live, she puts one foot in front of the other, and keeps loving as Jesus would, even in her weakness.
“That doesn’t sound right to me,” I told her. “We are not meant to go it alone in this life.” “The Bible says, ‘Two are better than one because…if either falls down, one can help the other up…'” Ecc. 4:9-10 (NIV).
“And that one can send 1,000 to flight, but two can send 10,000,” I said, (Deut. 32:30). “Even Jesus sent out the disciples two by two.”
She said tearfully, “You should write that— just that – in a short blog post.”
We weren’t meant to do this Christian life alone. We need each other. We draw strength from each other, from the Holy Spirit expressed through one another. We have gifts inside of us and different revelations of God’s character and perspective that we are meant to share to strengthen each other. In this way, we can press forward together toward the finish line with eternity in mind.
My friend, who I call my sister in suffering, doesn’t need me to say or do just the right thing. All I have to do is listen, give her a safe space, and some love. She sometimes feels like a burden to others (I know this feeling!), but when she calls, even in need, she blesses me so much. Though we are far apart physically, God has knitted our hearts together across the distance.
I hope our houses are close in Heaven and that we get to take leisurely walks to the glassy sea together, but for now, I’m glad she’s just a phone call away.
Has there been a time in your life when someone else held up your arms or even just helped you to keep your head above water? Or a time when you were that person for someone else?