The ups and downs of parenting my teen son can leave me feeling just plain done. Though I’ve learned not to struggle with him directly, I often wrestle to know how to mother him these days. I regularly feel the kind of bone tired emotionally draining weariness I haven’t experienced since I slept about a total of three solid hours a night in his infancy! You know what I mean? Motherhood requires we press on. Don’t you sometimes want to yell, “uncle!” and quietly buy some tickets to a tropical island?
Despite my desire to raise the white flag, I have an inkling God has goodness in store for me as I hang in despite the struggle. He never wastes a drop of pain or suffering we endure as we walk with Him and persevere through hard things.
I love the echoes of God.
Have you ever heard a personal message through a sermon, time spent in the Word or a conversation with a friend? Within days, a song on the radio unexpectedly repeats the theme. Then, as you drive through town, you notice words on a billboard you have passed 100 times before, reiterating His intimate thoughts towards you.
We can live whirling too fast, consumed by the details of our circumstances. We fail to see or hear Him above the din. In those times He often speaks in echoes, repeating Himself as He reaches out to our hearts.
Wednesday, as I sat reading my bible, God led me to 2 Cor 4. Most mornings, my youngest son and I start the day with some jammin’ worship tunes. I have a lineup on my Spotify called “Rock Your Worship”. We get to dancing around the house before we settle down to do some formal learning. One song, by Mandisa, is called “Overcomer.” The words were not new to me at all, yet this particular morning I heard it afresh, remembering these verses:
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.
Following my own time of quiet with God, I sat reading the Bible with my son. I opened to the bookmarked page where Moses was praying over the people as they fought. Whenever he would hold his hands up, the Israelites would win, but as Moses’ hands dropped from sheer weariness, the Amalekites would gain ground. Up – Go Israelites!; Down – uh oh! Up, down, up, down … until …
Aaron and Hur went up the hill. When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset. So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword.
God provided for Moses. In the time of battle, Moses was called to take a stand and to act for God on behalf of the Israelites. God didn’t call Moses to self-reliance. God provided a place to rest and He provided support on either side. I was flabbergasted that my son’s Bible lesson contained the very reminder I needed. God speaks so intimately and specifically.
I decided to ask for prayer – something I often forget to do. Two friends responded by sending me sweet words to strengthen my spirit with hope. I responded to them, “You are my Aaron and my Hur today.” Later that day I got a message saying that the women of our church were “holding my arms up” in this season when I am weary of the struggle.
SOMETIMES GOD SEEMS SILENT
You may not feel you can “hear” God. You might secretly wonder if you are actually one of His sheep since you can’t “hear” His voice. I’ve been there. Experiencing agonizing seasons of dryness or spirit-deafness became a part of what I called normal for years. Those times of “desolation” don’t mean you are necessarily wallowing in sin or somehow off the track. Normal life with Jesus involves times of experienced distance even though the truth is He will never leave you nor forsake you. In my walk I needed to heal my broken ability to trust in order to allow God close enough that I could hear Him whisper.
HOPE FOR YOUR STRUGGLE
My circumstances aren’t ironed out. The battle isn’t over, but I know Who wins the war.
Do you feel pressed down and weary of a struggle that seems not to have an end date in sight? Do you feel persecuted – like you’re walking around with the Target sign on your T-shirt? Is life leaving you perplexed beyond words?
One thing you are not – You are not alone.
You don’t have to win this battle. Instead, listen for God’s echoes and look around for your Aaron and Hur. All you have to do is make it through your struggle one day at a time, surrounded by the God who loves you enough to echo and the friends who stand by holding up your arms and giving you a rock to sit upon while you simply allow them near enough to help.
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