“As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. 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. So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword.” (Exodus 17:11-13, NIV)
This week has been an odd emotional sandwich. I spent Tuesday on “cloud 9” celebrating a dear friend. This sister spent to the ends of her finances, pride, and comfort to establish Sseko Designs. Now, ten years later she is running a huge, amazing, purposeful company. Her dream became a reality and she is literally changing the lives of women all over the world. I’m so happy and proud of her I could bust. She has “made it” in all the ways that really matter because she is loving people and changing lives.
But on Monday and Wednesday? I cried. I cried deeply and fiercely for two young men in neighboring communities who took their lives. We knew one. We knew the coach of the other. Babies. Sweet teenage baby boys who found themselves with such a loss of hope that no longer living seemed better than the pain. There’s been too many of them in the years we’ve done this work. Too many.
We have to keep fighting.
I want you to look carefully at that italicized sentence. The word that probably stands out is “fighting.” It stands out because it is the big word and the active word. It is the word that commands all the attention. But, it’s not the word I want you to see. The word that actually matters is little and you may have glanced right over it.
It’s the word “we.” And it applies to the entire spectrum of the human experience.
If God calls a woman to an incredible adventure like establishing a shoe company in a land-locked country in East Africa so girls can go to college, she cannot do that alone.
And if a teenage boy has reached the point he would take his life, he cannot handle that alone.
And if (insert your biggest dream and your greatest heartache), you cannot handle that alone. You weren’t designed to.
From top to bottom, end to end, life is meant to be shared. God is relational to His very core and we are designed in His image. If you are to get anywhere close to reaching the tippy-toe tops of His call and design on your life you better get yourself some Aarons and Hurs to hold up your arms and maybe a Joshua to help you fight. And if you are to resist the temptation to despair, end things, and cope with the really freaking painful things everyone sometimes endures? You better have some Aarons and Joshuas and Hurs there too.
So, just for today, we are going to pretend your name is Moses.
Hey Moses? You can’t do this life alone. You can’t win your greatest victories or manage your greatest tragedies alone. You are going to get tired no matter if you are headed toward the top or the bottom of life. So please, don’t travel alone. You never know when you may need to take a rest on a rock, have your friends hold your hands, and let someone else take the sword for a while.