Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…
“While the people of Israel were still at Rephidim, the warriors of Amalek attacked them. Moses commanded Joshua, “Choose some men to go out and fight the army of Amalek for us. Tomorrow, I will stand at the top of the hill, holding the staff of God in my hand.”
So Joshua did what Moses had commanded and fought the army of Amalek. Meanwhile, Moses, Aaron, and Hur climbed to the top of a nearby hill. As long as Moses held up the staff in his hand, the Israelites had the advantage. But whenever he dropped his hand, the Amalekites gained the advantage. Moses’ arms soon became so tired he could no longer hold them up.
So Aaron and Hur found a stone for him to sit on. Then they stood on each side of Moses, holding up his hands. So his hands held steady until sunset. As a result, Joshua overwhelmed the army of Amalek in battle.
Exodus 17: 8-13 (NLT)
Friends and family, and people reflecting on their time with him, knew that’s what he was—a hand-lifter. We lost him from within our midst on February 2, 2017 to his eternal resting place. He reminded us what was most important in life—to lift and love those around you without fanfare or expecting any credit or recognition. Many of you don’t know him, but maybe someone like him.
That was our friend—Perry C. McGriff, Jr.
When we come upon this moment in scripture as recorded in the passage in Exodus above, Moses had been running on adrenaline for some time. Although he always felt ill-equipped to do what God had called him to do, he had taken on the responsibilities God set before him and led the Israelite people out of the slavery they experienced in Egypt. Across the Red Sea through the power of God, into the Desert of Shur, to Elim, and into the Desert of Sin by way of the less traveled “Way of the Sea” along the expanses of the Red Sea, Moses led his people.
And in his role leading them toward the Promised Land, Moses became weary, not only physically, but also emotionally from the strain of responsibility and the constant grumbling of the Israelite nation, the criticism, lack of support, and lack of commitment to the vision of the Promised Land which God had set before them.
And whenever he couldn’t go on, and needed a measure of strength to help Joshua in the battle against the Amaleks, Moses found it in none other than his brother Aaron and long-time companion Hur. They came alongside him and offered encouragement and strength so that he could continue to lead his people in the way they should go, and as God had called him to do. They did it by simply holding his hands up—one on each side—so that he could direct and encourage Joshua and his people in the battle against the Amaleks. It was a significant and symbolic moment typifying all the other times they had been there to assist and support his leadership in the journey from Egypt toward the Promised Land.
We’ve all been there, finding ourselves rooted in some leadership capacity, or another role, that was beginning to take its toll on us physically and emotionally. Maybe it’s as a leader in your home whether as father or mother, assuming different and complimentary roles. Maybe it is at work as an employer, a supervisor or an employee. Perhaps you were called to a certain role in a church, a school, within charitable organizations, or in a sports environment especially in a setting as a coach or member of a high impact team.
Wherever it has been, you know that at some point you needed someone to lift your hands. To encourage you. To walk alongside you and remind you that you were on the right track. Someone would shine a light in the darkness pointing to the way we needed to go, when our vision grew dim.
Perry was that for me—whenever I needed it, helping to hold my hands in the air. He knew when without even asking. That was the case throughout his life, lifting the hands of so many others all around him, without expectation of credit or thanks. And we all need to be like Perry, for others.
And when he did, it made you want to never throw in the towel, knowing that he was there, and reminding you that there were others to help to keep your hands high in the air. Others who will walk with you and support you as you answer the call of God on your life to lead, to cast a vision, to call others to become all they can be, to inspire them to reach with enthusiasm toward the hope of a better day with and for the God who loves us and always leads us.
Who’s lifting your hands up?
Perry did for me and so many others.
By his example, we are called to do the same.
Whose hands are you helping to lift?
It will be a game-changer!
In His Name—Scott
Copyright 2017. Scott L. Whitaker. All rights reserved.