When we feel helpless to do anything for the people we care about, we must not forget about the most helpful action of all... Prayer.
"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." Exodus 17:12 (NIV)
Someone very dear to me is in the fight of her life... She's wrestling with her belief in God and searching to know with certainty that Scripture is true. She's fighting for her faith. Watching from the sidelines is difficult to endure for me. But the battle is one that only she can combat.
I love her so much and want to jump in the ring with my fighting gloves and slay the enemy. As one who came out victorious from the same struggle of my own, I long to bottle the knowledge I learned and give it to her. Handing my wisdom and faith to her would surely spare her the agony associated with a fight for faith in the Lord.
Watching the conflict as a bystander is arduous. But while I watch, I pray. And through prayer I am reminded of two men in the Bible who stood by their friend Moses in battle.
Moses sent Joshua into battle to fight an army of their enemies. While Joshua and the men waged war, Moses stood on top of the mountain holding his staff over the valley. Joshua and his men were victorious as long as Moses held the staff up. When Moses lowered the staff, their enemies gained on them.
Moses' friends, Aaron and Hur, followed him up the mountain. They saw the pressure and agony Moses experienced as he held the staff. With compassion, these men pushed a large rock under Moses for him to rest upon. Then, in a selfless act of love and friendship, they each held up one of Moses' arms as he held the staff high.
They could not hold the staff for Moses but they could stand with him through the long battle.
They filled in the gap created by Moses' weakness with the strength of their faith.
This story challenged me to change my position from a bystander to that of a gap-stander. A bystander is an onlooker who watches, but does not to get involved.
A gap-stander has empathy and takes action, using the strength of her faith to help the fighter stand until victory comes. A gap-stander is someone the one in battle can lean on.
Are you watching someone you care about fight for faith, whether in God, for healing, restoration of a marriage, or something else? Do you feel helpless?
We cannot give our faith to our loved ones or fight for them, but we can stand with them and support them as they fight to have their own faith.
The job of the gap-stander isn't easy, but it is a place of honor. Gap-standers are committed to encouragement, prayer, and spiritual and practical support. As we watch the battle rage, we also share in and observe God's great work and their victory. Who can you stand in the gap for today?
Dear Lord, someone I love is fighting and is tired. Will You show me how I can help? I choose to change positions from a bystander to a gap-stander. Help me have patience and be compassionate as I stand in the gap. I praise You for the victory that awaits for my loved one. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Reflect and Respond:
Read Moses' story in Exodus 17:8-13.
Might this be a prayer for you to whisper today? Dear Lord, right now I need some gap-standers. I am weak, weary, and wounded from this fight. Fill me with courage to reach for help. I praise You for the victory that awaits me. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
1 Peter 5:6, "Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time." (NIV)
Isaiah 41:10, "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." (NIV)