The one about my tired arms

“Hi friend, just praying for you tonight as God brought you to mind. Praying for a new job that abundantly provides for all your needs & uses your gifts with a purpose that makes you excited to get up in the morning & go! Excited to see what it will be!”

The text came at the perfect moment. Nothing particularly had gone wrong that day but I still felt a general malaise. A malaise that had been increasing over the last 2 months. Every afternoon when the moment came to get into my car and make that long commute I could feel the cold fingers of it creeping over my shoulders. Every evening when my writers block seemed to be getting worse and not better I felt its creeping breath on my neck. Every morning when the resumes went out and nothing came back I felt the shadow of it darken my vision. I had gotten so used to the feeling that it was a shock when these words broke through the malaise for one second and I felt my weak spirit lift its head. 

A few days later in a moment of honest conversation with a friend I mention how discouraged I’ve been lately trying to figure out how to move beyond the place I am in currently. Her response? “I actually prayed for you this morning (love the Holy Spirit’s prompting!).” 

These certainly are not the only moments people in my life have been encouraging to me, they are just some of the most recent examples. I can’t describe how wonderful each of these conversations felt. It was only on my seemingly interminable rides home from work that it clicked in my head what I was truly feeling. The answer lies in an old Testament story. Moses and the people of Israel are in the midst of their 40 years wandering in the desert. A group of warriors from Amalek attack them and Moses instructs Joshua to lead some of the men into battle while he stands on a hillside above holding the staff of God in his hand. The story continues,

“So Joshua did what Moses commanded and fought the army of Amalek. Meanwhile, Moses, Aaron, and Hur climbed to the top of a nearby hill. As long as Moses held up the staff in his hand, the Israelites had the advantage. But whenever he dropped his hand, the Amalekites gained the advantage. Moses’ arms soon became so tired he could no longer hold them up. So Aron and Hur found a stone for him to sit on. Then they stood on each side of Moses holding up his hands.” Exodus 17:10-12

I feel like I’ve been standing on a hillside watching a battle commence. A battle wherein I try to figure out how to make the most of the life I have been given. A battle where lately it feels like I’m losing. I’m not losing the war, but the battle is leaving me tired and weak. Slowly I feel my arms start to tingle. They go numb. And then, ever so slowly they dip. I try to lift them higher in response. They quiver under the weight.

The weight of not knowing when I’ll ever be financially independent.

The weight of wondering why I can’t seem to make my resume attractive to the people I desperately want to make it attractive to.

The weight of feeling like I’m being left behind while all my peers flourish and prosper.

And there they go. My arms finally falter under the weight. They drop to my sides and the fears, the stress, the anxiety. It starts to overwhelm me. And then.

And then

These words. These words I so desperately needed to hear. It’s like my two friends found me on that hill. They found me a stone to rest on and they held my arms above my head. The situation hasn’t changed. But my arms don’t feel weak anymore. What joy. What love. How wonderful to have friends like these. Friends that speak the truth of God in your ear when you can’t hear it anymore.

“God is able”

“He hasn’t left you.”

“He’s pleased with you just as you are”

“Keep going.”

The story didn’t end with Aaron and Hur holding Moses’ arms up. The chapter concludes:

“So his hands held steady until sunset. As a result, Joshua overwhelmed the army of Amalek in battle.”

Thank you my friends. Thank you for holding my arm steady this week. I can taste victory. It’s coming soon.

 

 

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