People today, like the ancient Israelites find themselves in struggles which require teamwork and help to survive. The Israelite army needed the intercession of Moses, and Moses needed the strength of Aaron and Hur to hold up his arms. “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 and one on the other-so that his hands remained steady till the sunset. So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword.” (Exodus 17:10-13) Moses’ supporters remind us how important it is to be willing to receive help. We’re not admitting to weakness when we receive the strength of a brother or sister. We’re acknowledging that the larger needs of the moment are impacted by the support people give us. Many others will benefit because we took the help of a friend. We need a Hur or an Aaron!
In addition to receiving help we need to be ready to offer it. How do we help? Praying comes to mind. Yet we hold each other up in a number of ways in addition to prayer. A text, phone call or email can make a huge difference in a person’s life. One can go from feeling alone to knowing that people are aware of a pressing need or concern. Still there is nothing quite like your presence beside a person at a crucial moment.
Some may wonder if their presence is any help to those who are in crisis. We think, “I don’t have much to offer and my life is filled with problems of its own.” It helps to reflect on the experience of author and speaker, Joni Eareckson Tada, who is a quadriplegic. She was asked to be part of a Christian counseling team that assisted victims following the 1995 bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City. When she arrived Joni was enthusiastically greeted. She was told, “When people walk up to you in your wheelchair and see you handle your personal crisis with that smile of yours, it speaks volumes to them. It assures them that they can handle their crisis too. We need people like you in here. Please, help us go out and find more individuals like you who can assist us.” Joni thought to herself, “Wouldn’t it be great, on any given Sunday morning, to see people with white canes, wheelchairs, or walkers come through the doors of our sanctuaries? And wouldn’t it be something if we all turned around in our seats in our congregations and exclaimed, ‘Oh, my, are we glad to see you here! We need people like you here in our church?’” (Tada, Joni Eareckson, Receiving God’s Grace, Veritas, 2003)
We all need help and we all have something to offer. Let’s hold each other up!
Pastor Ken Atchison
All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com