“And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. But Moses' hands were (grew) heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up (supported) his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. And Joshua discomfited (defeated) Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.” Exodus 17:11-13
In the 1992 Olympics, a British sprinter named Derek Redmond finished a race no one thought he would. Redmond was running a 400m semi final heat when he suddenly tore his hamstring muscle. He was doing quite well in the race until this happened, but he continued to try and run, limping on his good leg. He pressed towards the finish line even after the other runners had completed the race. I cannot imagine how many hours Derek Redmond had put in to get to the Olympics, but I imagine he had been training since he was a little kid. The hamstring that had doubtless helped him win many races had now failed, and his dreams of winning a gold medal dissipated right in front of him with millions of viewers watching.
There are many who have used Derek in this race as an example to never give up. It is impossible not to notice the fortitude he had in trying to complete the race, but there was something else that happened during this unfortunate event that caught my eye and brought a tear to it. While Derek struggled to limp his way through the race, his dad came from the stands to offer aid. The security on the track tried to shoo him away, but he simply brushed them off so that he could get to his son. He, at first, held his son who collapsed into his arms and broke into tears of disappointment and pain. After the embrace, he put his arm around his son and helped him to complete what he started. Derek finished the race that day, but he was not alone when he crossed the finish line.
I recently had a difficult week, and I was beat up emotionally and physically. I was trying to surpass these feelings but I was not doing a good job of putting my feelings away. God, in His wisdom, allowed me to set a lunch date with a dear friend, and I was able to share my burdens with him. The following night, my brother who I had lunch with and another dear brother showed up to Freedom That Lasts. I cannot tell you what a blessing and encouragement it was to me to see them there, and I felt that my hands were lifted up. God puts people in our life to lift up our hands and aid us in the spiritual battles we face. The battles and trials can come in the form of a broken garbage disposal, disappointment, a lost job, a personal failure, death or unexpected expenses. God knows what we need before we even ask, and He is faithful in bringing godly friends into our lives to accompany us in the battles we face.
I think of Moses who was a meek man, and while a chosen man of God, even he grew weary and tired. God worked a miracle that day as Israel fought with Amalek. As long as Moses held up his hands, Israel prevailed in the battle, and when his hands fell, the battle went the other way. Aaron and Hur were sent by God to put the stone under his hands, and when that was not enough, they physically took up his arms and lifted them up. They physically got involved and stayed with Moses until the sun went down that day.
I praise God for those in my life who have lifted up my hands, and for those who pray for me. In reading these verses, God has laid on my heart some people to whom I can be a blessing and whose hands I can lift up. Who in your life can you help lift up their hands? Who can you come alongside and be an encouragement to? As brothers and sisters in Christ, we need each other and our prayer should be for God to open our eyes to see those who are in need, and to help them run the race that is set before them.
Stay in the fight!