Moses was tired. He was old. His belly was full of his breakfast—wafers of manna and the water that poured from a rock. As he climbed to the top of a steep hill, he reflected on his life. In his mind, Moses saw mistakes and wrong turns. But he also saw miracles—a vast sea parting in two, a brilliant light high on a mountain.
Now Moses sat on the top of the hill, flanked by his brother Aaron and his friend Hur. Below him, a battle raged, the Israelites and their attackers, the Amalekites.
Throughout the long battle, Moses came to realize that if he kept his arms raised—the staff of God firmly grasped in his hands—the Israelites would succeed. But as soon as his arms became too weak to hold his staff in the air, the favor would turn to the Amalekites.
The pressure to remain strong was depleting Moses. His arms shook. He closed his eyes, tears and sweat trickling down his cheeks. Aaron and Hur saw their friend’s exhaustion. They saw him gritting his teeth, trying to be strong. They moved to help. They held up Moses’ arms, one on each side. They kept him going until sunset, until the battle was over and the Israelites won.
If you have ever been the recipient of this kind of support, you can appreciate the value of friends like Aaron and Hur. To have people willing to stand with you, lifting you up when you know it would be impossible to find the strength on your own.
Moses could’ve shrugged off their help. He could’ve told Aaron and Hur to leave him alone. He could’ve said he was capable of doing it by himself. Instead, Moses allowed their strength to fill in the gaps and crevices created by his weakness. Moses let his friends pour into him.
At times, I have been on a hill overlooking an intimidating battle. No Amalekites are clashing swords in a skirmish in the valley below, but the overwhelming trials still sometimes feel like I’m waging a war.
So, a few nights ago, when life handed me a moment of “It’s-just-too-much”-ness, a group of women surrounded me. They supported me and lifted me up. They held my hands and stroked my hair. They prayed for me and gave me tissues.
We don’t always have to have it all together and there is no shame in needing support. This need is only the evidence of our universal human frailty and a testament to the blessing of true friends. I don’t enjoy the crumbly feeling of falling apart but I will be forever grateful for my own personal “hilltop friends.”