No man is an island unto himself. We cannot make it alone (Ecc. 4:9). You will not stand among the redeemed in heaven without having had your many encouragers to uplift you. Nor will you so stand without having lifted up the discouraged yourself.
Amalek was a powerful opponent of Israel at Rephidim. God’s people had just fled mighty Egypt, and they continued to face adversity. Their leader, Moses, went up a hill at Rephidim with God’s staff in his hand. Aaron and Hur accompanied him. As long as Moses held up his hand, Israel was winning the battle. When his fatigued arm drooped, sagged, and dropped, Amalek got the upper hand. Imagine holding your hand up for a protracted period of time. The aching and pain soon compounds. Exodus 17:12 says, “But Moses’ hands were heavy.” Physically, he was at his limit. Thankfully, Moses had an Aaron and a Hur to support his hands, “One on one side and one on the other. Thus his hands were steady until the sun set” (13). Ultimately and consequently, “Joshua overwhelmed Amalek and his people” (14).
Look to Aaron and Hur for your example. All around you are people with “heavy hands.” Will they successfully make it to the setting of their sun? Many do not. Many would, if they had someone to encourage them. Our congregation has so many with “heavy hands.” Christian adults without a Christian spouse need us to lift up their hands. So do widows and widowers, whose “help meet” has gone on ahead of them. What about our young people, still in the fledgling stages of their personal battles with peer pressure and identity? Lift up their hands! Elders, burdened with the responsibilities of leadership and shepherding, are not exempt from weariness of spirit in their fight with Satan. Hold up their hands. Young parents, for whom a typical church service can be a twelve round contest with their little one(s), need to be encouraged.
Make up your own list of heavy-handed folks. They may be losing ground to their spiritual enemy, ready to give in and give up the fight. Your overtures and comfort might turn the tide for them. Take Paul’s admonition to heart, and “encourage one another, and build up one another” (1 Thess. 5:11).