Do you know the Bible story where the Israelites are attacked by the Amalekites in the desert?
Whilst Joshua leads the army to fight them, Moses stands on a nearby hill holding up his staff. I guess he’s acting as a symbol to the army, pointing them to the One who is on their side, who will give them the victory. It’s a form of prayer perhaps. When the staff is held high, the Israelites prevail in battle but when his hands droop, it goes the Amalekites’ way.
As the day and the battle progress, Moses becomes tired and finds it increasingly difficult to hold the staff up. This is no weight lifting snatch he’s doing but an endurance exercise, torturous in its demands on his muscles and mind. However, he’s not on his own. Aaron and Hur find him a rock to sit on, then they take the weight by supporting his hands, keeping them steady for the rest of the day until sunset brings the long fought for result.
Life, and the Christian life, can be exhausting. I’ve certainly had times when I’ve just wanted the circumstances I’ve been put in to end, when I’ve thought I simply don’t have the strength to keep going. And God hasn’t said, ‘That’s ok. I can see you’re tired. You can stop now. I’ll magic all the problems away.’
What He has done is send others to support me and steady my shaking hands. A cup of tea, a listening ear, a word of encouragement, a hug, a counsellor, a regular reminder that I am not on my own. They can’t take the burden off me but they can help me hold it up.
And when I wish I could lift the weight off a loved one’s shoulders but know it doesn’t work like that, I can be ready to walk alongside and take hold of a handle to carry the load together.