Doing the work of carrying the burdens and needs of others in prayer.
By Sue Duby
Our three-year-old grandson Nate LOVES trucks. Any kind. Any size. The bigger the better. But amidst all the wheeled vehicles racing down the hallway, dump trucks top the list. Nate’s tiny fingers wiggle to grasp any small objects to stuff into the truck’s bin, then wheel the whole load across the room. At times, success! At times, screams and tears when the load tips over.
Load lifting is a lot like that. Skill required. A “loader” is in good shape for the journey, knowing it won’t always work out as anticipated. There’s willingness to try again when it all fails. There’s shuffling objects from one location to another, lifting weights that are just too much for one person to handle alone, even moving items to truly “dump” them.
As my husband Chuck and I have enjoyed the luxury of time to reflect over the past few months, we’ve discovered a past life theme that’s birthed new dreams.
I’ve never bench-pressed anything in the gym. Neither of us love exercising with heavy dumbbells. Though we’re not fashioned of metal with crazy tread tires, screws, and bolts like Nate’s prize dump truck, we’re recognizing more and more how God fashioned and wired us both. Not sure why it’s taken part of a lifetime to grab hold of understanding, but grateful it’s getting clearer. We love to lift loads!
Way back during our missions training school in snowy Montana, one leader unexpectedly thanked us for being “Aaron and Hur”. At first, that sounded crazy and confusing. Puzzled, we dug a bit deeper and discovered it’s actually very simple. . . just lift a hand!
In Exodus 17:8-13, Moses charged Joshua to go out to fight the Amalekites, promising to stand on the hill with God’s staff in hand. As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites continued to win. When he grew weary, “. . .Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset.” (v. 12 NIV)
A battle raged. Lives were on the line. Moses was not tasked with joining the physical battle or shouting orders for hours. He had one seemingly unrelated job… to hold his hands high. Even with that small task, it became too burdensome. If you’ve ever tried to raise your arms for a long period of time, it’s hard! Aaron and Hur likewise were not required to rush into battle. Again, for them, one simple duty. Hold Moses’ hands high. Not even two . . . just a single hand each. Just enough to keep Moses’ stance steady. And victory followed.
Though I’ll likely never be on a battlefield, watching spears fly and armor clashing, I know daily there are people in my life who are weary. I also realize (after countless years of trying) that it’s not my job to “fix” anything for others, but rather to come alongside and “load lift” in ways God inspires. Maybe a quick text, “Thinking of you”. Perhaps a phone call to just listen. A note in the mail. A cup of coffee on the back porch. A warm loaf of sourdough bread (a newly discovered passion!). Simple acknowledgment that their struggle is real.
May we be bold to step out to hold a hand up. . .to ask Him to show us our assignment (who, when, where, how) . . .and not measure how big or small it may seem. Sometimes, it’s simply asking a few questions along the way each day. . .
As we journey into 2021, may He open our eyes to those around us who need load lifting. And may we enjoy the journey as He leads the way!
Sue Duby grew up on an island just minutes from downtown Seattle. From there, she ventured to California for college, teaching high school math and meeting husband Chuck. In 1989, Sue and Chuck entered full-time ministry. 17 years with Mercy Ships took them to Europe, Africa, and the Caribbean. In 2006, they began 13 years with Hope Force International, serving those affected by natural disasters both in the U.S. and internationally. Sue loves continued adventures with Chuck (44 years), deep friendships with children Krista, Peter, and their spouses, hugs from 5 grandchildren, flower arranging, and coffee shops.