Dear World Changer,
Exodus 17: 11-2 11 As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. 12 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.
There are a lot of days where I feel like Moses when the Israelites were fighting this battle against the Amalekites.
All he had to do was keep his arms raised and they would continue to win. But as soon as he dropped his arms, they would lose. Can you imagine the pressure put on Moses in that moment? And I don’t know if you have ever tried raising your arms above your head, but after about 5 minutes it becomes pretty difficult.
I feel like God has asked me to step out and overlook a battle. My battle, my friends battle, the battle of the souls of those who don’t yet know Jesus. All he is asking me to do is raise my hands in worship and trust him. He wants me to trust that we will win.
So, I raise my arms. But after a while, it becomes really hard. At first, I was doing so good! My hands were straight up and I felt strong and confident that we were going to win. Then, as time wears on, my arms are so tired and my eyelids got so heavy and I can’t stop yawning and I feel like I’ve lost feeling in my legs and my knees might buckle any moment. But every time I start to lower my arms, we are losing! And I can’t let us lose, everybody is counting on ME. Everybody is watching ME. I CAN NOT FAIL. Because it feels like the entire fate of this battle rests on my arms.
Eventually I can’t stand anymore. I drop to my knees, but still I keep my hands raised. They aren’t raised very high anymore, just barely above my head, but they’re raised. After a few hours, I start to get really hungry. I haven’t had food or water in a long time. As I kneel there, with my hands above my head, I start to question God: Why did he bring me here? Why did he ask ME to hold my hands above my head? Are my raised arms actually even helping the battle? Do I even care what happens anymore? Someone else can probably raise their arms better than me. Maybe I should just stop and let someone else stand here, or kneel here. This is really hard work and I would rather be fighting that battle down below with swords than standing up here raising my arms and trusting that it will help. God what are you doing? Do you see me here?
This is how I imagine Moses. These are the thoughts that I believe were running through his head, because these are my thoughts. This is how I see myself on a lot of days. But still, I don’t lower my arms. Not completely.
Eventually, Hur and Aaron come by, my friends. And they want to help me. But this is something I have to do on my own…isn’t it? So, I tell them I’m okay. And for a little while they believe me. But they stay anyways. Eventually they can see that I’m really not okay. My arms have almost completely dropped. I’m barely awake. I’m so hungry and thirsty. I didn’t ask them to, but they brought me some water and some bread. They even fed it to me because they knew I had to keep my arms raised. Eventually, they realized I really couldn’t even do that anymore. My friends and my family, they offer me their support and at first, I don’t want to take it. I don’t want to admit to them that I’m weak. I need help. But they aren’t judging me. They find me something to sit on and then, they raise my arms for me. Straight up to the sky. As I sit here with my friend on one side and my family on the other, I realize that it’s okay that I need help. It’s okay that I am weak, it’s okay that I can’t stand. I am still here, my arms are still raised, and I am still doing what God asked me to do. No, I’m not strong enough to do it by myself. But maybe I was never supposed to be strong enough. One day, I will be able to stand back up and raise my arms for myself. But for now, it’s okay that others are helping me, and it’s okay that I have to sit down. We are still fighting the battle, and eventually, it will be won. Because I have my arms raised and God told me that would be enough.
Often in the mission field or at home or wherever life takes me, I feel like I have to do things on my own. Like I have to be perfect all the time. I feel ashamed if someone recognizes that I’m struggling or if I have to admit that the “Christ-worshipper” life isn’t easy for me. There are many times when I struggle and falter and feel like I can’t worship God anymore. A lot of times I feel like God shouldn’t use me. Because who am I?
Whatever stage I find myself on, I have to remember that God is still with me. I’m not the one fighting, I’m not actually controlling the battle. Whether I’m going strong in my relationship with God – standing straight up, arms fully extended, or kneeling in pain with someone else helping me raise my hands for me. It’s God who’s working through me. It’s God who is taking my act of worship, my act of obedience and using it for HIS glory and HIS victory.
That battle, was never about Moses. This battle that I’m in, it’s not about me. It’s not about anybody else. It has always been about God. About the victory that He will bring about when I am obedient to what He has asked me to do. No matter how ridiculous it might seem, no matter who may doubt what I am doing. No matter what level I’m at.
God wants me here. God wants ME here. I am fighting this battle the way God has asked me to. “…so that his hands remained steady till sunset. 13 So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword.” There are a lot of days where I feel like Moses. But the sunset is coming and I will not lower my arms. Not ever.