“11Whenever Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed, and whenever he lowered his hand, Amalek prevailed. 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. 13 And Joshua overwhelmed Amalek and his people with the sword.”
As the appointed leader of the Israelites, Moses’ outward sign of dependence on God determined the outcome of the battle against the Amalekites. Have you heard this story? When Moses’ hands were lifted to heaven, the Israelites would gain ground. However, when he lowered his hands, the enemy advanced. The battle was long, and Moses grew weary. Without the support of his friends, Moses was physically unable to complete his task. Without Aaron and Hur, Israel surely would have been defeated.
In the first half of 2017, our Compassion Ministries staff have seen a significant increase in crisis situations within our church body. In the past month alone, fifteen deaths were reported to our office. That’s an average of one every other day! To my knowledge, sixteen families in our congregation are currently navigating cancer, and several have been told that there are no further treatment options available. The growing number of families devastated by Lyme disease is astounding. Alzheimer’s, heart attacks, strokes, miscarriages, broken bones resulting in unemployment… heartache overwhelms.
When I think about all the hardship you and I face, I see a similar battle to Israel’s battle with the Amalekites. Not a battle against people, but a battle of the mind. Will we choose to set our minds on truth, or will we fall victim to Satan’s lies, giving into fear or despair? A battle of the will. Will we allow God to write our story even if the narrative doesn’t line up with our own agendas or expectations? A battle of the heart. Has this hardship caused your love for Christ and his church to increase, or are we so fixated on our own problems that our heart is calloused to the other wounded soldiers within reach? Or void of joy that comes from the knowledge that the ultimate victory has already been won? A battle for endurance. We know that we need to keep trusting when wave after wave crashes overhead, but will we obey, or will we allow “I can’t” or “I’m all done” thinking to steal away our hope in Christ’s all-sufficient grace? Will we keep our proverbial hands raised heavenward, or will we give in to exhaustion and suffer defeat?
Compassion Ministries at College Park exist to come alongside our members and regular attenders during physical attack. We want to be your Aaron and Hur. While we can’t promise victory in the form of healing, we will do our best to encourage you towards spiritual victory in the face of the enemy. Working in tandem with pastors, Elders and other sources of support (Adult Big Groups, Small Groups, or other ministries you might be involved) along with our small army of volunteers, we are committed to doing what we can to support you through whatever physical battle you are facing.
To my weary brother or sister in the battle, remember that you are never alone. But, you must do the hard work again today of lifting up your weak hands in submission to God, whose power is made perfect in your weakness. Together, with the support and prayers of a church body who loves you, we stand on the promise that the ultimate victory has already been won!
Will you consider joining us as we offer support to our hurting brothers and sisters?
- Let our Compassion Ministries staff know when you or another member has a physical concern
- Check the Prayer Wall often to become aware of the needs around you and set aside time to pray for those in need.
- Become an Immediate Needs Responder, offering practical support (such as providing meals, housecleaning, or transportation) as needs arise and you are able.
- Write notes of encouragement to those families listed in the bulletin or featured on the Worship-Based Prayer Night card tables, which we will mail for you.
If you have any questions about how to be involved, please email me at email@example.com.