November 23, 2010
A Little Help from Friends
"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, one on the other - so that his hands remained steady till sunset."
Exodus 17:12 (NIV)
It had been a challenging year for our family. Opening a new business, extended family issues, a series of health challenges, writing a book, and daily life with newly-turned teenagers were some of the stressors we experienced.
One evening, feeling especially weary and desperate for support, I drove to my friend Holly's house to vent. I plopped on the couch, put my head in my hands, and announced, "I just don't think I can do this." Without missing a beat, her husband Dan said, "That's why you need your friends this year."
How true. We were never meant to deal with stress, discouragement, pain, or just a hard day with the kids on our own. God created us to need encouragement from each other, especially during hard times.
Today's key verse shows how Moses, just like us, needed support. While Joshua and the Israelite soldiers battled the Amalekites, God asked Moses to hold up his staff, representing God's power, throughout the battle. As long as Moses kept the staff raised, the Israelites experienced victory. It was a long battle, however, and Moses dropped his arms in fatigue. Then the Israelites began losing the battle.
That's when Moses needed help and encouragement from his friends. Scripture explains, "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, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset" (Exodus 17:12, NIV).
The Israelites ultimately were victorious, and a key to their victory was Moses' obedience to God as he held up the staff. But he couldn't have done what God asked him to do without the help of Aaron and Hur.
In the same way over the past couple of years I've needed my friends to hold me up, so I can be the wife, mother and woman God has called me to be. Friends have listened, prayed and helped me with practical matters of everyday life. Their support has given me courage to press on, to remain hopeful, and to find strength in them and the Lord.
Just like Aaron and Hur did for Moses, my friends have held up my hands and lifted my heart so I can be obedient to God's call on my life. We all need the help of faithful friends.
Dear Lord, thank You for the encouragement of friends - and for providing each one at just the right time. Forgive me for the times I've been prideful and independent instead of vulnerable and honest about my needs. Let me be an encourager to others the way they've been to me. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Visit Melanie at her blog "What Matters Most"
What a Husband Needs from His Wife by Melanie Chitwood
The Friends We Keep: A Woman's Quest for the Soul of Friendship by Sarah Zacharias Davis
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Take time to thank someone who has encouraged you. Write an email, send a text, make a phone call or send a special gift to your encourager. You can forward this devotion to them and tell them "thank you" for holding up your hands!
Maybe as you read this devotion, you realize you don't have a friend to help you during the hard times. Start by praying for God to send someone your way. Then take the first step to initiate a new friendship.
Is it easier for me to help someone or to receive help? If it's hard for me to receive help, I'll ask the Holy Spirit to reveal why.
Am I part of a church community? If not, this week I am going to attend church regularly and to get involved in a service group, small group or Bible study.
John 15:13, "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." (NASB)
© 2010 by Melanie Chitwood. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
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