This is a republish of an old blog post…
In the past couple of months my heart has been breaking for friends who’ve been facing massive challenges. Some have been health issues, some have had faith struggles, some of them have had family or work related challenges.
The book of Exodus has taught me an incredibly important lesson.
We can’t do life alone.
At a place called Rephidim, Moses and the Israelites faced a battle for their very survival against the Amalekites upon their escape from the land of Egypt and slavery – out of the frying pan and into the fire, I suppose!
In the battle at Rephidim, Moses, Aaron and Hur climb a hill to oversee the battle and to pray. When Moses’ arms are up the Israelite army are winning and when his arms are down the Amalekite army are winning. I can barely keep my arms lifted for 5 minutes without a break, I can only imagine how tired Moses got. But the passage in Exodus 17 tells us that when Moses got tired, Aaron and Hur brought a stone for him to sit on and they stood beside him holding his arms up. In the end, the battle was won.
The truth is we all face battles, get tired and need someone to hold our arms up. Whether it’s because we’re facing life-altering difficulties or whether we simply feel worn out by the busyness and stress of day to day life, we need people around us to encourage us, to lift us up and to speak truth into our lives. And others need the same from us.
I need you.
And you need me.
And that’s how it’s supposed to be.
Let’s go back to the start. I mean, the very start.
Then BANG God spoke, and galaxies and stars and planets began forming. God created the heavens and He created the earth.
Plants, birds, fish, animals, man. Life.
And God speaks over it again and again, it is good, it is good, it is good. But then something interrupts this perfect paradise. God sees something and wow, it is not good.
It is not good for man to be alone.
From the beginning we have been wired for community, for friendship, for relationship, for ‘we’ not just ‘me’. We were never meant to do life alone.
We were made for community, not isolation. Life done together.
And there’s a lie that can creep in. It’s subtle, and it’s deadly because it can stop deep, authentic relationships.
And it is this – You are alone in your pain and your struggles, you are the only one who feels like you do, you are the only one who faces that temptation, that pain, that failure. You are the only one who fails. Nobody understands and you will be judged if you share your ups and downs.
And that, my friends, is a lie.
You are not alone, you have people around you who love and want the best for you, and they’re also broken people needing the grace of God just like you do.
When facing challenges and battles in my life I’ve found out that I’m not the only one.
When I share with people about my challenges I’ve had with pain, depression, lust (the list goes on). I look them in the eyes and I see hope. “You too? I’m not alone in this?”
We all need someone to look us in the eyes and say ‘I know how you feel’.
May God forgive us for acting as if we’ve got it all together. We need one another. None of us have everything sorted, Moses was a man who led at least 1 million people through many situations and battles yet even he needed people around him. This life can be an adventure but it is a team effort.
My friend, my brother, my sister, I love you, I need you to know that you are not alone.
Please don’t do life by yourself. Sure, it can be awkward, yes, it probably will be uncomfortable at times but we are created to do life together. The ups and the downs.
Find someone to talk to. Find someone to pray with. There are battles going on in our lives. Find someone, like Aaron and Hur, who can lift your arms when you’re tired and you can lift their arms up when they’re tired. We can’t do life alone.