Last week, I was reminded how vital friendships are in our lives. My family was believing for a miracle and in a moment when I didn’t know what else to pray, I grabbed my phone and reached out to my friends via text asking for prayer. Immediately, I was sent back encouragement, prayers, and scriptures. I felt the burden being lifted as they continued to pray. The next day we had a breakthrough in our situation- we had our miracle! God was faithful! Not only was I able to share that I needed prayer the day before with my friends but I also shared the praise report of what God had done!
Two days after I had texted my friends asking for prayer, I woke from a deep sleep and clearly heard God say, “She didn’t have to wonder if she had friends because she was always surrounded by them!” I immediately thanked God for the rich friendships in my life.
While reflecting over the blessing of friendships in my life, God brought me to the story of Moses in Exodus 17. In this chapter, the Israelites go into battle against the Amalekites. As Israel fought, Moses went on top of the hill where those in battle could spot him. He stood with the rod of God in his hand raised towards heaven. As long as Moses had his hands raised, Israel prevailed in battle. When he lowered his hands the outcome of the battle would change. The weight and outcome of the battle was literally upon Moses to carry and lift! When changing a light bulb from my ceiling fan, it doesn’t take long for my arms to become fatigue and tired within a minute.
Hard to imagine the fatigue Moses must have felt in this moment while holding the rod of God. You might be wondering how a chapter on war and battle correlates with friendship? In life, we are all going to come up against the enemy and many times go into battle. During these moments, the people on our right and left will be the ones who will help carry us through the battle till the victory is won.
Come with me to the top of the hill as we observe Moses. I envision Moses standing tall and stoic overlooking his people, God’s people, in battle against the Amalekites. In one hand, he holds God’s rod lifted toward heaven in act of victory, praise, and surrender. As the battle begins, he’s holding the rod in his right but as the weight of it becomes overwhelming he switches to his left. Once he switches, he feels a sense of victory and relief as the rod continues to be held high in his other hand. After a while, his left becomes weakened and he must switch back to his right. He alternates back and forth, left and right, over and over with each switch carrying the weight of the rod less in that hand. He becomes tired and gives in to the weight of the rod and brings his hands down to rest. The moment he does there is a turn in battle before him as the Israelites start becoming overwhelmed by their enemy.
Little strength left in either hand, Moses grabs the rod and lifts it high and as he does the battle turns again in their favor. He must keep his hands raised. He must stay strong. His arms and body ache with pain and atrophy but he can’t give up – the battle isn’t over. I can almost hear Moses asking himself, “How am I going to keep my hand lifted? How am going to do this alone?”
As the doubts of our own leadership, ability and gifts come on the scene so does friendship. In this moment, I can only imagine the sense of relief as Moses looks on either side and realizes he is not alone. His friends came alongside him.
Exodus 17:12, “But Moses’ hands grew weary, so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it, while Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side. So his hands were steady until the going down of the sun.”.
In that verse we read of two friends – leaders – family members, who come alongside Moses. Aaron and Hur taking their place on either side must bring a sense of relief as Moses’ hands continue to grow heavy. They took a stone and placed it under Moses to sit upon. Sitting wasn’t admitting defeat but instead a posture of humility by allowing others to help share the burden. Battles in our lives aren’t won in a posture of pride but in a posture of complete surrender. Moses found himself in this position seated with hands lifted.
Aaron and Hur didn’t wait for Moses to admit defeat or ask for help. Instead they saw a need before it was ever spoken. Good friends don’t need to be asked because they already see the need. Not only did they place a rock for Moses to sit upon but as his arms grew weary and heavy, they stepped in and snuck under his arms to help support them. The weight of the battle was never meant to be carried alone. It was meant to be done in community with others by our side. Scripture says in the end of verse 12 that “his hands were steady until the going down of the sun”. Friendships should make us steady and bring balance to our lives. As the battle continued, Aaron and Hur did not leave Moses’ side. Good friends are unwavering through each trial and battle you face.
I was also reminded that this is what “Daughters of the Deep” is all about – this is what we strive for in women’s ministry – for every woman to know that they are surrounded and loved! God wants every woman to have the type of friends who will help hold their hands up, praying and believing with them till the battle is won. If you have never had healthy friendships in your life, here are some ways you can start being a friend to those around you:
- Pray for them. Don’t stop till there is a breakthrough.
- Rejoice with them as you celebrate accomplishments and victories.
- Be there! Show up and be on the scene.
- Celebrate your differences versus giving to competition and comparison.
- Send an encouraging text or note.