The Purpose of Community: To Hold up Our Hands When We Can’t

“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.” Exodus 17:11-12

This week has been a rough one. I won’t try to sugar coat it, or say it’s getting better, or it’s all worth it because I love my babies. It’s been sass and tantrum central with my four year old, my closest friend is moving across the country next month, my house is just a mess, and I can’t seem to keep up. At my breaking point, I texted a friend “I feel like a terrible Mom.” And in that instant I felt relief, and at her response even more relief. It was filled with love, and having been there, and peace, and truth, and again I say it love. She reminded me of all the things I should remember, and all the things she knows me and my kiddos to be. She reminded me of who I am in God’s eyes, and who my kids are in God’s eyes. And I needed it, hard core needed it. 

It’s a battle, and this week I was losing, and I was hurting. I let down my arms, and the enemy started to win. And no matter how hard I tried on my own, I couldn’t lift them up again. I was tired, overwhelmed, sad, and overcome by the lies the enemy was speaking to me as I fought the battle for my heart. When I texted that friend, she pulled up the stone for me to sit on, and raised up my hands so in this battle I would still have the advantage until sunset.

I can’t tell you how many times my friends have had to hold up my hands when I just can’t any longer. And there have been countless times that I’ve held up the hands of my friends, or pulled up the stone so that they could rest. We are all, at some point in our lives, an Aaron or a Hur or a Moses, and I’m here to tell you, I’d be nowhere without the Aaron’s and Hur’s in my life. We are not meant to walk this life alone, and motherhood is lonely. 

We are in our own homes, with our own loads of laundry, our own husbands, our own kids, and our own messes. And if we let the devil have his way in our minds these can be overwhelming things to carry on our own. But we are not meant to carry them on our own. When I think of Moses’ journey, and Joshua’s journey, and the endless amount of arguing and complaining they endured from the Israelites, God’s chosen people, it reminds me a whole lot of parenthood. So when a battle broke out that would detract from their mission to get to the promised land, the Lord called them to fight. And Moses knew if he stood on the mountain with the staff of God raised in the air, the Israelites would win. He knew what God had called him to, and with Aaron and Hur beside him, he knew he could endure for the Lord.

As we walk through our journeys with the little people God chose for our lives, battles can break out at any time. These battles detract from our striving for eternity, for God’s glory in our families. And Satan knows when to send these battles our way, and the Lord knows when to call us to stand on a holy mountain to hold a banner over our families as we fight on. However, the Lord also sends us friends. He sends us friends who walk alongside us on our journeys. He sends friends who know what it takes, who know the striving, who are striving in their own ways, but who He knows will step away and hold up our hands when a battle is waging for us. 

He sends them, but we also have to let them in. If we want an Aaron and a Hur, we have to let them know there’s a battle. We have to be vulnerable enough to speak our pain, our shortcomings, our hard stuff onto our friends so they can know when they need to step in to hold up our hands. Moses probably could have rested his arms for a bit, and then raised the staff again, but each time he lowered the staff, the enemy got the advantage. Imagine the casualties of an hour without the Lord over their battle. And think of the casualties that occur in your home when you let the enemy speak those lies into your heart, the yelling at your kids, the arguments with your husband. Any time we let down the staff of the Lord over our home during battle, there are casualties. Instead, let’s allow our community to come alongside us and hold up our hands. Let’s allow people in who know us, and love us, and are committed to the same goal: glorifying God. 

Letting people in can sometimes come with work. Community is hard. We’re human, and imperfect, and sometimes we make mistakes. And our community might make mistakes, and they might hurt us, but we have to make a decision to be part of a community, to stick it out when it’s hard. And to hold up their hands when they need it even if it’s uncomfortable to hold up their hands. And we have to hold up their hands, even if we think we know a better way to hold the staff. Even if we think we know why they’re in this battle, and we think we know how they could get out of it, sometimes we just have to hold up their hands. Aaron and Hur didn’t stand beside Moses and say “Man you should have been working out in preparation for all of this staff holding. You should have started out this process sitting down, what were you thinking standing this whole time?” They simply came to him, pulled up a rock, and held up his hands.

When I was having a rough week, I didn’t need my friend to suggest a new parenting technique for my four year old, or say “God has a plan for your friends move,” or tell me to set up a schedule for cleaning my house. She just spoke truth into my life, and loved me through the hard stuff. She simply pulled up a rock, and grabbed a hand when I couldn’t hold up Gods truths any longer in my heart. 

If you don’t have any Aarons or Hurs in your life, go find some. Put in the time and work it takes to build a community. Be vulnerable. Live daily life with people, invite them in. Hold up some hands, and when battles wage they’ll be there to hold yours up, too. Because battles will come, and you will get tired, but when you do the Lord will send someone to pull up a stone, sit you down, and hold up your hands to continue the fight. 

One comment

  1. Thank you for your honest vulnerability. Your message is timely and truthful. Parenting is tough! I’m thankful you are sharing your gift of writing with us as you process your journey. I think you are a Warrior!

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