Hold Each Other Up

”So Joshua did as Moses told him, and fought with Amalek, while Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. Whenever Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed, and whenever he lowered his hand, Amalek prevailed. But Moses’ hands grew weary, so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it, while Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side. So his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. And Joshua overwhelmed Amalek and his people with the sword.“ Exodus 17:10-13

During World War II, General George Patton wrote to his troops “Fatigue makes cowards of us all.” While motivating his players before a game, the legendary Green Bay Packers coach, Vince Lombardi, agreed and encouraged his players by saying it this way, "You've got to keep yourself in prime physical condition, because fatigue makes cowards of us all."
It most certainly is true that weariness and fatigue can effect our perspective or how we view our circumstances. I’ve heard it said that our body and our soul are so interconnected that sometimes they catch each other’s diseases. (Matthew 11:28-29)

When we become physically tired, our minds can become weary too. When our bodies are tired, we can feel drained not only physically but emotionally as well. When we are worn out either through physical labor, lack of sleep, or an illness, it’s hard to think clearly, which can lead us to make mountains out of mole hills—to imagine that our circumstances are worse than they actually are.

So, if we want to be healthy; mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, it’s vitality important that, as best as we can, we take care of our bodies. We need to eat well, get adequate sleep, and stay physically active. I know I need to do more to take care of the temple of the Holy Spirt (my body).

But the fact is that we live in a fallen world and there are times when life is just hard. And whether or not there are things that we can be doing to better take care of ourselves, we need to be looking out for each other. Sometimes there are things that happen beyond our control, which can lead us to a place where we desperately need the tangible prayers, support, and encouragement of others. No matter how healthy we are, we all have human limits.

During a military type attack from the Amalekites upon the Israelites, Moses, Aaron, and Hur went on top of the hill to provide some prayer support. While Moses held up his hand in which he likely held the rod of God, Israel prevailed. But whenever he lowered his hand, the Amalekites prevailed. So did Aaron and Hur tell Moses he needed to get more exercise? No.

Both Aaron and Hur, placed a stone under Moses so he can sit down and they also stood on each side of him and held up his hands. And as the scriptures explain: “So his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. And Joshua overwhelmed Amalek and his people with the sword.” (Exodus 17:10-13)

As I mentioned earlier, when we are tired, we can become very vulnerable. We are more susceptible to think the wrong thoughts and believe the lies of the enemy. Maintaining a positive attitude becomes extremely difficult. Do you know that when the Amalekites initially attacked Israel, they targeted the most vulnerable? In Deuteronomy 25:17-18 we read:

“Remember what Amalek did to you on the way as you came out of Egypt, how he attacked you on the way when you were faint and weary, and cut off your tail, those who were lagging behind you, and he did not fear God.”

We need to be aware that like the Amalekites, “Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour" (1 Peter 5:8). And he has no mercy on those who are weak and weary among us. We must be sober to this reality and seek to hold up one another in prayer. We must bear one another’s burdens, and seek to sacrificially support one another in love and in so doing we fulfill the law of Christ—we bring glory to Him who bore our burdens all the way to the cross. (Galatians 6:1-2)

I’ve heard it said, and I’ve said it myself, that when we don’t feel like praying is when we need to pray the most. But again, there’s a soul weariness that makes prayer very difficult. Moses needed others to hold him up. Likewise, we need to recognize that we are all human. That even the most spiritually mature among us can find it hard to pray sometimes. And rather than assuming that they have it all together, we need to labor in prayer for one another.

“Moses’ hands became heavy: The job of supporting the battle in prayer was difficult and Moses could not easily continue. We might think that fighting was the hard work and praying was the easy work, but true prayer was also hard work. Prayer is sometimes sweet and easy; other times it is hard work. This is why Paul described the ministry of Epaphras as always laboring fervently for you in prayers (Colossians 4:12), and why Paul wrote we must continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving (Colossians 4:2).” -David Guzik

Prayer is not an excuse for neglecting to give your best. Prayer is your acknowledgment that you need God to be at your best! If we have not learned to develop a godly rhythm of working as unto the Lord, and resting in the Lord, we will end up in a very unhealthy place. (Colossians 3:23-24; Matthew 11:28-30)

Are you weak and tired? Maybe you need to take care of yourself and get some adequate rest. Or maybe you’ve been running hard for Jesus, but have failed to rest in Jesus. The old hymn says it best:

What a Friend we have in Jesus,
  All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
  Everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit,
  O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
  Everything to God in prayer!

I know I need to take care of myself better, eat better, sabbath well, and get some exercise. I can’t be at my best unless I learn to rest. And I know I can never pray enough.

But let’s not forget that we all have human limits. Life is hard and we need to be there for one another. Don’t assume anything. Labor in prayer for your brothers and sisters, the strong and the weak. Reach out with a word of encouragement, a helping hand, financial support, or a listening ear. “Bear one another's burdens and so fufill the love of Christ” (Gal. 6:1-2). Love like Jesus loves you. (John 13:34-35)

In His service,
Pastor Marco