Community: In the hard seasons

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A Scripture study from Caring, part two of four.

Read part one here.

Behind the scenes

Read what Scripture says in Exodus 17.

One of my favorite stories in all of Scripture is that of Aaron and Hur holding Moses’ arms up while Joshua battled the Amalekites. The story reads that the Amalekites came and attacked the Israelites. Moses told Joshua to take some men out and fight them. Moses said that he would stand on a hill with the staff of God in his hands. Joshua did this and so long as Moses raised the staff, the Israelites would be winning. Moses naturally grew tired, so Aaron and Hur gave Moses a rock to sit on and they held up his arms. One on each side, they kept the staff raised until the Israelites defeated the Amalekites (Ex. 17:8-13). 

Beyond the surface

Sometimes in life, we are like Moses. There are days that are dark, tough and even overwhelming. Our arms are weak under the weight of our stress and hurt. We can barely keep them up, and we know that when we let them down, we will be overtaken by the forces that seem to attack from every side. Our faith is weary and our trust waivers. This is where our community of Aarons, Joshuas and Hurs come in. Having a community when we’re broken makes carrying the burden a little easier. 

Suffering, loss, and hardship are inevitable and our response to them can’t always be predicted. Sometimes we are so consumed with grief that we can’t stand on our own. There are seasons in life where we are crippled with sadness, anxiety and heartache. Those seasons were never meant for us to endure alone. Galatians 6:2 tells us to “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” It was never God’s intention for us to suffer alone. We are called to carry each other’s hardships. We are called to lift up the arms, fight the battles and work together in life. 

When my daughter was born, she was not an easy baby. I didn’t know it at the time, but she had reflux and would cry constantly. She didn’t nurse well, and I was exhausted. I didn’t understand why everything was so much easier with my first baby than it was with my second.

At the time, we lived within walking distance of a good friend. One day, when I had reached a low, I walked that tiny baby to the front door of my girlfriend’s apartment and knocked. She opened the door, and I handed her that small girl and cried. I needed a break. 

I didn’t love my daughter any less, but I was so tired. My friend held my baby and I laid down just long enough to get it together. If you’ve ever been a new mom, perhaps you know this feeling. If you haven’t, I’m certain you’ve experienced your own moments where you just needed someone to take the “crying baby” from you while you rested a minute. 

Life has a crazy way of running us ragged at times. Seasons of darkness can last months or even years when the weight is significant enough. God’s plan to help us get through it all is his presence and the presence of others. Without my friend, I’m sure I could have made it. But with my friend, it was a bit easier. 

How often do we go at life alone because we don’t want to burden others? We think about how busy our friends and family are and we don’t want to bother them, but the truth is that these are people who love us and want to know when we are suffering. Our community of loved ones want the opportunity to walk the weary road with us and hold up our arms when we can’t seem to find the strength to do it on our own.  

Between the lines

  1. Do you let your community hold your arms up when you’re tired? 
  2. Do you let your friends pray for you? Do they hold your arms, fight for your safety and bring you into a posture of rest? 
  3. Are you doing it for others? 
  4. How is your community supporting one another? 

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 says, “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.” 

We need each other; especially in seasons of struggle. Take a moment to evaluate your role in your community. Are you able to uplift others or are you needing support of your own? Pray that God would give you opportunities to participate in both. 

 Sign up for the Do Good Digest, our weekly newsletter, and stay tuned next week for part three.

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