“When Moses’s hands grew heavy, they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat down on it. Then Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side and one on the other so that his hands remained steady until the sun went down.” (Exodus 17:12, Christian Standard Bible)
Flying alone is exhausting. I’m not talking about taking a commercial flight (although that’s exhausting too these days) but about flying solo through life. We need each other for strength and support. Otherwise, we may crash.
Have you ever wondered why geese fly in that V formation we’ve seen moving across the sky? The answer is simple: it’s easier that way. Flying takes a lot of energy. When a goose flaps its wings, it generates lift. The flapping creates an updraft; and if another bird positions itself slightly above and behind the first bird, it can take advantage of this updraft to make its own flight less tiresome. Then if another bird positions itself above and behind that second bird – well, you get the picture. When the lead bird gets tired, it drops back, and another moves into that more tiresome front position. (Being lead goose mean more work, something we humans should remember.) One study showed that by flying in formation, geese increase their range by seventy percent on long migratory flights. They move as a unified team.
Another goose fact. If one of the birds becomes injured or ill and must drop out of the formation, it is not left alone. Two others will also drop out and stay by their weakened friend. They stand by, ready to protect the weak one from predators until it either heals or dies. They are willing to delay their own journey to shield the one needing help.
Birds may be smarter than humans. They seem to have learned lessons some of us still haven’t mastered.
Supporting Each Other
Moses was a mighty leader – the lead goose, so to speak – but Exodus 17:8-13 records a time when he was not strong enough for the situation the Israelites faced. They were in battle with Amalek near Rephidim. Moses was positioned on top of the hill with the rod of God in his hand. When he lifted the rod, Israel prevailed. When his arms dropped back down, Amalek prevailed. But in time his hands grew heavy, and he could not keep the rod extended. This is when Aaron and Hur sat him upon a stone, stood one on each side of him, and held his hands steady until the sun went down and the battle was won. With humility, this mighty leader allowed others to help when he was too weak to carry on alone.
Each of us will face times when we need the help of others — and times when we need to help others. Don’t be afraid to drop back in the formation and allow the lift of another’s wings to keep you going. And if you notice a friend growing weak and dropping away from the formation, don’t be reluctant to drop back to strengthen and protect them from the enemy’s attack. Why should anyone face life’s difficulties alone when we can be a strength to each other? We can travel farther and easier when we fly together.
“The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed” (Proverbs 11:25, NLT).
Thank You, Lord for those You have placed in my life to helped me when I am weak. In turn, make me aware of those around me who need encouragement and strength during difficult times. Give me the wisdom to respond in a way that brings strength and healing. None of us need fly solo when we are in the body of Christ.