Stand By Me

Stand By Me

I remember the first time she called my attention to the passage. She told me to read it through, and I did.

Exodus 17: 8-13

At Rephidim, the Amalekites came and fought against the Israelites. So Moses said to Joshua, “choose some men and go and fight the Amalekites tomorrow. I will stand on the top of the hill and watch you. I will be holding the walking stick God gave me.”

Joshua obeyed Moses and went to fight the Amalekites the next day. At the same time Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. Any time Moses held his hands in the air, the men of Israel would start winning the fight. But when Moses put his hands down, the men of Israel began to lose the fight.

After some time, Moses’ arms became tired. So they put a large rock under Moses for him to sit on. Then Aaron and Hur held Moses’ hands in the air. Aaron was on one side of Moses and Hur was on the other side. They held his hands up like this until the sun went down. So Joshua and his men defeated the Amalekites in this battle.

Then she looked at me, straight in the eye – seeing my tired and my worn – and said, “I will hold your hands up when you are too tired to.”

And I wept. Because don’t we all get tired like Moses? And don’t we all need a friend to help us hold up our arms until God brings us victory, however that looks?

You see, sometimes we’ll be Moses. We know that we must keep on ‘keepin’ on.’ But we’re tired. Bone tired. The kind of exhaustion that makes us weep helplessly…or turn on our ‘autopilot setting’ because we just need to survive and get through one more day. Sometimes we need our arms held up for us.

Sometimes we’ll be Aaron or Hur. We will have the privilege of walking alongside a friend, holding weary arms erect, whispering words of encouragement. In this way, we will shoulder a bit of the burden, making it a little less heavy or lonely to carry. Sometimes we are the arm holders.

Sometimes we will be Joshua. We will be down in the valley, fighting the enemy. The battle will ebb and flow, the tide will turn. We will feel defeat breathing down our neck one moment and victory sweeping in the next. But we will be cheered on and held up by One who sees the whole battle from a view up on the hill.

Oh sweet friends. Whether you find yourself weary and in need of someone to hold up your arms or whether you are in the process of holding up a friend’s arms, may you be strengthened by Moses’ response to the Israelites’ victory.

Then Moses built an altar and named it “The Lord is My Flag.” (Exodus 17:15)

Praying you feel the gentle breeze of His banner waving over you.



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