Often the task to which we are called is beyond our capabilities. We lack the strength. We lack the endurance required to complete what we set out to do. The further we have gone down this path towards Ecuador, this path of missions, the more I have realized just how true this is of the work that God has called us to. As God puts dreams in my heart for what he has in store for our life and ministry in Ecuador, I stand in almost a state of shock. The things that I would love to see accomplished, things I would gladly devote my life to, are way beyond my ability. Who am I to go and do these things?
In typical fashion, God is teaching me something amid my intellectual wrestling. He is showing me the importance of community… people who will labor alongside you, even if it is from a distance.
Recently one Sunday morning we were ministering in a church, sharing our story and our calling, or vision and heart for Ecuador. At the end of the service the church leadership gathered around us to pray over us. This is always a moving experience, but something different happened on this particular Sunday. As we were praying, I had my left arm around Emily, and my right arm raised with my hand above my head, bent at the elbow. I stood there soaking in the words that were being spoken over our family and our ministry when suddenly I felt a hand take hold of my elbow and provide support for my arm. Immediately my thoughts shot to Israel’s battle with Amalek.
Perhaps you are familiar with the story. Moses sent Joshua to lead the defense from an attacking army and he went up the hill to stand with the staff of God in his hand. You can read the account for yourself in Exodus 17:8-16.
As Moses stood on the hill watching the battle rage below, he raised his hand. When his hand was raised the army of Israel prevailed, but when he lowered his hand the opposing army of Amalek prevailed. Moses knew what must be done. He had to keep his hands raised! Unfortunately, it was beyond his ability to do so. He lacked the endurance to keep his arms in the air. He couldn’t do it on his own, but Moses was not alone. In verse 12 we read:
“But Moses’ hands grew weary, so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it, while Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side. So his hands were steady until the going down of the sun.”
Moses didn’t have to stand alone. He had friends who were right there with him, supporting him in the specific task that God had called him to do.
I realized that Sunday morning, when a hand took hold of my arm in support, that we are not standing alone. God has called our family to do some big things. Things that are frankly beyond our ability. I don’t have the strength; I don’t have the endurance. But as we travel around and make connections week in and week out with the churches of Oregon and beyond, He is showing me that we are not alone. He is raising up brothers and sisters to stand next to us and hold us up in support as we watch God win the battle.
Because let’s be honest… God didn’t need Moses to raise his hands to win the battle. The victory was His. But for some reason he wanted to use Moses, and Aaron, and Hur, and Joshua each in their individual way. Just like he wants to use our family, and our faithful team of brothers and sisters here in the states each in their individual way to bring about a victory in Ecuador, where he has called us to go. We say Yes, Lord!
Thank you for coming alongside us, and believing God for great things!