Friday, June 7, 2019

Helping Superman Hold His Arms Up

Suggested Reading: Exodus 17:8-16

As Clark Kent was becoming Superman in the television series Smallville, before the public knew his face, he was known as the Blur, a faceless good Samaritan who put bad guys in jail and saved people from disasters. The Blur had become a symbol of hope for the people of Metropolis. But the politicians had begun passing laws against helping people without wearing a uniform and being on the government's payroll. Discouraged, and doubting the possible success of efforts to repeal these laws, Clark had begun to doubt himself as well. So a couple friends who knew his secret identity created a website where people could post video messages for the Blur. When the videos where shared with Clark, he was overwhelmed with encouragement and found the motivation to keep helping people.

A remarkably similar scene was played out in the book of Exodus as Moses was leading the Israelites out of Egypt and into the Promised Land. Without provocation the Amalekites attacked Israel and Moses, more than 80 years old, assigned Joshua to rally the army while he upheld them in battle. Whenever Moses held up his hands, Israel prevailed, and whenever he lowered his hands, 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 (Exodus 17:11-12, ESV). Whether Moses' raised hands provided some supernatural assistance or simply encouraged the people, we don't know. We just know it helped. But an 80 year old man, or even a 20 year old man, can only hold his hands up for so long before they give out. In order to keep helping his people, Moses himself needed help.

The people who help us often need help themselves. They need encouragement and rest as much as any of us. These people may seem superhuman at times, but they are just as human as the rest of us and many hover near the edge of exhaustion and discouragement. Sometimes, in order to keep helping us, they need help themselves. They need someone to come along and find them something to sit on so they can rest. They need someone to hold them up for a time, giving them encouragement and strengthening them with prayer. They need help.

Or maybe you are the person always helping and ministering to others. Maybe you hover near the edge of exhaustion and discouragement. Maybe you have gone over that edge. Don't be afraid to let people know you need help. Without it, your hands may fail and everyone will be let down. Everyone needs help from time to time.

Let's be ready and willing both to give help and to receive it.

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