I don’t know about you, but I have so many hurting people in my life. I feel so helpless sometimes. I have 5 friends fighting Cancer for their lives right now. A few have a good prognosis, but a couple know their days are numbered.
I will never forget what it was like to hear that news. What a scary conversation, one that brings up so many fears and questions.
I have other friends who are in the middle of separations, divorce and betrayal. What a broken world we live in.
I watch my children make friends and reflect on my own life. I think a lot about friendships. The Bible has many examples of relationships. Today I am thinking of how to help someone fight a battle. I talked to 3 of my hurting friends this week. I want to do something to change something. I listen, and I ache for what they are going through. I think of many nice things I could do, knowing that they are a far reach from what my friends need.
Do you remember the story in Exodus 17:8-15?
The story of how Isreal defeats the Amalekites?
Israel Defeats the Amalekites
While the people of Israel were still at Rephidim, the warriors of Amalek attacked them. Moses commanded Joshua, “Choose some men to go out and fight the army of Amalek for us. Tomorrow, I will stand at the top of the hill, holding the staff of God in my hand.”
So Joshua did what Moses had commanded and fought the army of Amalek. Meanwhile, Moses, Aaron, and Hur climbed to the top of a nearby hill. As long as Moses held up the staff in his hand, the Israelites had the advantage. But whenever he dropped his hand, the Amalekites gained the advantage. Moses’ arms soon became so tired he could no longer hold them up. So 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. As a result, Joshua overwhelmed the army of Amalek in battle.
After the victory, the Lord instructed Moses, “Write this down on a scroll as a permanent reminder, and read it aloud to Joshua: I will erase the memory of Amalek from under heaven.” Moses built an altar there and named it Yahweh-Nissi (which means “the Lord is my banner”). He said, “They have raised their fist against the Lord’s throne, so now the Lord will be at war with Amalek generation after generation.”
What a beautiful example of support. Standing beside someone when they need the help to stand. When I need to stand I know the one who goes before, walks behind and lifts me up when I can’t stand on my own. Not everyone knows him. I want to change that.
To some of my friends I am that person who can come alongside them and hold up their arms when they are too weak to hold on through the battles they face. I can also point them to the one who carries me through those times.
What a blessing to know the one who made all things. What an honor to share him with the world. The gift of Jesus is the most important thing we can give our friends. If they already know him, sharing his love is one way we can bless them.
What are the main thoughts you have after reading this passage and thinking of someone hurting in your life? In what ways can we practically stand by our friends?