HAM, Hands, and Why You Can't Wear My Shoes
So Joshua did as Moses told him, and fought with Amalek, while Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. Whenever Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed, and whenever he lowered his hand, 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. And Joshua overwhelmed Amalek and his people with the sword. ~Exodus 17:10-13
So what does this have to do with ham? Well, it stands for Hur, Aaron, and Moses. I know of an organization called HAM, standing for those names, meaning that we should hold one another up in prayer. It's really cool if you think about it, because Aaron and Hur were literally holding Moses up, and because of prayer we can do that today.
But notice, they could not take the place of Moses. If they had stood there and held their own hands out to give Moses a rest, Israel would have lost. Moses was the one who had to hold his hands out. Why? Because that is what God had asked him to do.
In the same way, I cannot go through what God has asked you to do for you, and you cannot go through what I have to go through for me. We cannot walk a mile in the other person's shoes. That's not my journey, and I cannot walk it for you. God set aside things for each of us to do and in the end the only person who can do them or experience them is you.
I think that this is part of why the human experience is such a lonely one. Though we all encounter the same types of things (death, illness, broken relationships,...) we cannot walk through the same things. We cannot take away pain from people, we cannot offer to be sick instead of them, we cannot even take their task for a little bit to give them a rest.
But there is one thing we can do.
We can hold their hands up through prayer. We cannot be in their place for them but we can come along side them and lift them up. Though to be alive is to be lonely, we do not have to walk by ourselves. I cannot take your pain but I can enter into it and chose to stand beside you through it. You cannot have the conversations that I need to have but you can pray that I would be strengthened through the Holy Spirit, and encourage me to stand strong.
And brothers and sisters, this is what we are called to do!
As a body, I hurt when you hurt. (1 Corinthians 12:26)
As a child of God, you can use the comfort God has given you to comfort me.
(2 Corinthians 1:4)
As people who are striving to be like Christ, we will bear one and others burdens.
When I am strong, I am to help those who are weak. (Romans 15:1-2)
We are to put others in front of ourselves. (Philippians 2:4)
Oh dear friends, this is more simply done than one might think. It takes but a few minutes to lift up a sibling in prayer.In this day of technology it takes only a few seconds to let some one know you are holding them up.
Aaron and Hur didn't just lift Moses up, they were right beside him the whole time. I am sure they offered much more than just physical support, and even if they did not talk much there was no doubt that Moses knew that they were there. Please, don't forget to let the hurting know that you are there.
Though this is simply done, it is not easily done. It hurts to feel pain with others. Most would rather just pat some one on the back without getting emotionally involved. But in the words of Elisabeth Elliot, it is impossible to love deeply without sacrifice. It is scary and it is messy, but this road, my friends, is one that each of us may be certain we are called to walk.
In fact it is supposed to characterize us. "By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." ~John 13:35
I'm sure that Aaron and Hur's arms grew tired too. It was not a painless investment for them, but they were called to enter in to Moses' pain and hold him up. You are called to do that too. I am called to do that too.
So please. Let's send that text, write that letter, make that call. It will cost you a little something, but it may make all the difference to the one who is oh so weary of holding their hands up alone.