I heard a story recently about a professor who was teaching his class how to survive under pressure. He held up a glass of water and asked, “How heavy is this glass of water?” He went on to demonstrate that it doesn’t really matter how heavy the glass of water is, but how long you have to hold it.
If you have to hold it for an hour it will become wearisome. If you have to hold it for a day, it becomes bothersome. But if you have to hold it with your arm extended, it becomes downright painful – even a dixie cup with a few drops of water is too heavy to bear under those circumstances. You will simply have to put it down.
But what if your calling is to hold that dixie cup? What then? Do you just put it down to relieve the ache?
In Exodus we see this exact thing played out:
Then Amalek came and fought with Israel at Rephidim. So Moses said to Joshua, “Choose for us men, and go out and fight with Amalek. Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the staff of God in my hand.” So Joshua did as Moses told him, and fought with Amalek, while Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. Whenever Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed, and whenever he lowered his hand, Amalek prevailed. 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. And Joshua overwhelmed Amalek and his people with the sword.
Without friends coming alongside of Moses and literally holding up his arms, he would not have been able to do what God called him to do. We’re talking about MOSES here. Red-Sea-parting-plagues-in-Egypt Moses.
I’m thinking: if he needed the help of human friends, why do I think I won’t? And why do I think my contribution into the lives of others is insignificant?
Honestly, we don’t hear a lot else about Hur in the Bible, but in Exodus 17 we see him faithfully accepting the job of holding up some old guy’s arm for the day. It doesn’t seem like a big deal, but what if he didn’t do it because it seemed silly to think Moses would need help? What if he didn’t think he was important enough to come alongside Moses. Or that he was too important to support someone’s arm?
Are there people facing battles around you? Is there anyone who needs your help to find victory?
Or do you need to accept the help offered by the people God has placed in your life? Is there someone offering to help you hold your dixie cup, and you are too insulted or embarrassed to accept their help?
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
I wrote the other day about how disastrous it would be to try to make bread without any tools. In the same way, our relationships are vital to our ability to do what we are called to do. Your friendships were given to you by God to help you do what he asks of you. Somebody is your mixing bowl. And you are somebody’s oven. In other words, without friends, you are half baked. 🙂