God With Skin On

In a poem entitled, The Rainy Day, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote, “Into each life, some rain must fall.” Some of us may feel that we live in a rainforest. We were never designed to endure trials on our own. It’s during these times when we find out that we need others. To mature, we can’t have parents, spouses, and friends who fight our battles for us, but they can uplift us. People describe me as a strong, strong person. However, I lean heavily on God, my family, friends, and prayer warriors when I’m going through storms. I am that friend and support to everyone in my life. No matter how mature and independent or powerful we think we are, there are overpowering hurricane seasons. It’s when the battle is too strong, the road too long, and we don’t have the strength left to go on. As great as Moses was, he needed the help and support of others.

 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. 13 So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword.

Exodus 17:11-13

The Need

If the Red Sea parting, commandment carrying, powerhouse of the OT, Moses needed help, why wouldn’t I? Have you ever come to the end of your strength? I’ve been there. It’s a scary and vulnerable place. You feel you can’t bear one more second, but then you’re pushed even farther. It’s this raw and terrifying place where it’s all stripped away, and we see God’s goodness. He also brings brothers and sisters along to help you in your time. We need them. Amid the whirlwind, we can focus too much on the fight and not enough on practical necessities. We, like Moses, don’t realize the need to rest; other’s can help us expand to different approaches. In the passage above, the Israelite army couldn’t win unless Moses’ hands stayed uplifted. No one can keep their hands up for the length of a battle. God could have performed a miracle, but he doesn’t always do it that way. Sometimes, he designed it so we could experience his love and the blessings through others. A little girl once described it as “God with skin on.”

12 And though one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

Ecclesiastes 4:12

The Help

It’s funny how God designed the victory of this battle with such a clear picture of the uplifted hands of its leader, Moses. Uplifted hands symbolize acts of worship and also surrender. There is power in worship; prison doors were opened for Paul, who worshipped in jail at midnight. In worship, we place him where he belongs, on the throne. When he is there, our eyes of faith can see. Sometimes praise is a sacrifice, and we need to push through. When we don’t have it in us, we need friends to help us finish the course. For me, that support is when friends send me jokes, funny videos memes. Others pray silently and verbally in the spirit; I know it, feel it, and know its power. Some contribute by sending a meal, a word of encouragement, help, love, and support. Humans are vessels of God, a flesh reminder God is with us. God showed us through Aaron and Hur that we need to come alongside others and help hold their hands up.

25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them, 26 and suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken. And immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone’s bonds were unfastened.

Acts 16:25-26

The Mindset

Although the battle was long, Moses didn’t consider sitting down. It took Aaron and Hur to give him that perspective and provide the rock where he could sit. Moses couldn’t keep his arms lifted, so Aaron and Hur helped raise their hands. When we face something so overwhelming, it’s natural to get tunnel vision. The trouble, pain, battle, or rain can become our all-encompassing God. We become nearly obsessed with how impossible and powerful it is and how it’s ruining our lives. Others can snap us out of that, reminding us to take care of what we can and should. Aaron and Hur made Moses see that he didn’t need to be fighting in every area. They brought him the rock to sit on so he could rest and keep up his stamina. Moses’ only responsibility was to keep his arms up. When we rest on the Rock of Ages, we don’t waste our energy in pointless areas like Moses standing. We sometimes need others to help us in that way.

A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

Proverbs 17:17

The Body

I have a friend who’s getting hit on every side right now. Every time I pray for her, I’m holding her hands up. Last time it was me getting hit, and she sent a lavish meal and encouraging words. In life, those storms come when we need help. There is one thing that we must do. With Moses, it was his hands, but with us, we must decide that we will fight, we will rely on God, and do what we can to move forward. Each of us has a role to play, and God can work mightily in us when we find our place and surrender to that role. Joshua was leading the armies. The soldiers were fighting. Moses’ job wasn’t to wield a sword but to hold up his hands. Aaron and Hur were there to ensure the leader could continue his mission working as the body, with each part playing a role. United in goals, with acts of love and the wisdom of God, we become the living body of Christ here on the earth.

[and He did this] to fully equip and perfect the saints (God’s people) for works of service, to build up the body of Christ [the church];

Ephesians 4:12
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