This morning our pastor carried a tall rod to the front of the church. He raised it upward as he began his message on Moses holding the rod of God. As an audience, we saw the discomfort of such a feat in the duration of a thirty minute talk. Our pastor kept transferring the rod from his weary hand to his rested hand. Certainly our imaginations were sharpened as we visualized Moses gripping the rod upward in the face of an enemy. As long as Moses held the rod upward, the Israelites prevailed over the enemy, and when Moses lowered his heavy hands, the enemy prevailed. Obviously Moses could not do this alone, and two others came alongside stabilizing Moses’ drooping hands. What was the outcome? The Amplified Bible graphically portrays a victorious finale as Joshua, the general-in-command, “mowed down and disabled” the enemy “with the sword.” (Exodus 17:13)
Moses’ hands were very human hands. He knew weariness and experienced heaviness. His empowerment arose in the face of brothers who assisted him in a crucial hour. I wonder what the conversation was among Moses and Aaron and Hur as they watched the battle from a distance. Did Moses implore them for assistance? Was it at the suggestion of the other two that Moses sat down, and they stood at his side? Maybe those details aren’t really important. Undoubtedly, a great victory was won because others came alongside to assist the drooping hands.
That got me to thinking about the vulnerability of single women. Single women are one and only. Sometimes our hands get heavy and droop. We can’t do life alone; we need assistance.
I certainly was in that position early this summer. My car was severely rear-ended seven hours away from home. In that crisis, God provided not two men, but six men to lift my drooping hands! A firefighter came rushing up to the scene of the accident to see if my passenger and I were okay. A male passer-by stopped and checked whether we needed help. I had a most kind, professional policeman assisting me in the details of the accident. The tow truck driver not only delivered the car to a reputable body shop, but he went beyond the call of duty in assisting with details of an unexpected hotel stay. The next morning the man at the car rental gave me a car upgrade despite my limited rental insurance. Then some weeks later, a man traveling to my area was able to pick up my repaired car and bring it back home. My drooping hands were strengthened by others coming alongside in this experience.
We have all experienced drooping hands, and other times we are called to help those with drooping hands. Sometimes we assist by doing practical things as these six men did for me in the moment of crisis. It could mean sending clothes to the grandmother with a limited income who has suddenly become responsible for her teenaged granddaughter. Perhaps a weary mother needs a few dozen freshly baked cookies delivered at her door. Sometimes lifting drooping hands may not be so noticeable. Maybe it is interceding for friend who has been in and out of the psychiatric ward the last few weeks, or sending words of encouragement to a family in a crisis.
My pastor’s hands got very weary this morning holding up his rod. He finally asked for assistance. One strong young man came alongside while the pastor rested his weary arm on this young man’s shoulder and finished his sermon holding the rod. I don’t believe any of us single women were meant to do life alone. Sometimes we may need to ask for assistance as my pastor did this morning. Sometimes we will be the one to step forward as this young man did for my pastor. The stories of victory won’t cease if we stand alongside and lift drooping hands.
Strengthen the feeble hands,
Steady the knees that give way:
Say to those with fearful hearts,
Be strong, do not fear;
Your God will come. . .