Women stood in worship and raised their voices to God. The song spoke of upstretched hands, and I raised mine high. But I couldn’t keep them elevated. Weakness pulled stronger than my desire and the weight drew downward. How much longer could I keep my arms up in praise?
For many months, illness kept me from human contact. I was just getting back to being around people. Overcome by the reality of standing in this group of God-worshipping women, the emotions threatened to drain my strength. And I would need fortitude to get up and speak to these women after the worship time.
A hand came under my weak bicep and lifted my arm. I looked into the eyes of one who saw my need. Her grin spread wider. I blinked to clear my vision and returned her smile.
Though I fought an outward battle for energy, the one within proved more powerful. And that’s where conflicts often are for many people. Inside.
We get tired of struggles, stresses, fights, responsibilities, disagreements. Sometimes we grow weary and life itself exhausts us.
When this happens, I’ve seen people decide they simply don’t want to weigh others down so they deal with everything alone. But in the Bible, God gives us many examples of people who needed help to continue in their situation.
- David grew exhausted in battle and his men continued in his place. (2 Samuel 21:15-17)
- Moses grew weary as he held the staff above his head so the Israelites would overcome in battle. Aaron and Hur lifted his arms. (Exodus 17:10-12)
- Naomi had grown weary of life’s struggles, and Ruth made a life-changing move so the older woman wouldn’t be alone. (Ruth 1:16-17)
Even Jesus needed help-Simon carried Christ’s cross after He kept falling from the weight of it. (Matthew 27:32) It’s an eye-opening truth. Jesus needed help in His frailest moment.
Yet many times, I have not wanted to put my needs onto someone else. I’ve said I was fine when really, I could have used some help or encouragement. I’ve offered to assist others but refused any kind of the same.
And yet, isn’t helping each other what the body of Christ is all about?
During this challenging time, creativity is key. We aren’t able to visit each other, worship together, go for coffee, or engage with each other like normal.
And yet there are still ways we can be available and carry each other’s loads a bit. Besides, when I help lift your burden, and you help lift mine, neither one is quite as heavy.
- Text-Sometimes the fastest chance to check on someone is a quick text. It’s a great way to let the person know they are being thought of.
- Email-E-cards bring light and lift a mood. What if we swamped the internet with encouraging emails to others?
- Call-In my Bible study group, there is a woman who doesn’t have internet. Recently, we had a delightful conversation over the phone. It was a blessing to hear her voice and share laughter together.
- FaceTime, Zoom, video chat through Messenger, Skype-there are so many portals available to us now so we can see someone’s face as we converse.
- Social media-What if we all recorded encouraging videos on our favorite social media, or posted Bible verses, or memes of God-centered hope. Despair would be driven away.
- Pray-If you ever want to feel linked to someone, pray for them. When a heart is drawn to God on behalf of another, connection is built.
We were made for relationship with God and with others. Reaching out will help us continue to carry each other’s burdens during times of not being able to be together. When my friend held my arm up to help me, we were forever linked in a memory.
What is a way you could reach out to someone else today to help brighten their time in this physical distancing we’re doing? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Dedication-This post is dedicated to my friend, Pam Bundy, who held my arms when I no longer could.
Photo Credit: Unsplash-Phil Desforges