We stand in a beautiful sanctuary. It’s a place I could stay for hours. From the moment I walk through the doors, I feel His presence. My soul sighs in peace. A peace I’ve not known in years.
We stand in a circle linked together, heads bowed. My hands wrap around my friend’s arm. Someone holds my right arm and another’s hand rests on my left shoulder.
One by one the ladies in the circle pray over my friend and me. I am here simply as a friend. I have no role or responsibility, but they’re praying over me still. Their prayers come from genuine hearts, revealing their love for Jesus and one another.
I am soaking in each prayer, holding back tears as they intercede on behalf of their sisters, asking God to clear distractions and open hearts. They LOVE their sisters in Christ. I know this deep within me as I listen to their pleas. In this moment, I feel they love me too.
One of the sweet ladies prays for me…referring to me as my friend’s “Aaron,” supporting her as she leads. There’s a chorus of amens as if all in the circle agree…I am like Aaron to my friend.
I intuitively know it’s true although I’ve never before considered the parallel.
These ladies don’t know me. They don’t know my heart or current season of life. So, I know as I listen to them pray that God is speaking to and through them. The way their prayers meet my heart? Amazing and somewhat scary.
God is so real to me in this moment.
And, I am undone. By their prayers. By their obedience. By their love. By their reference to Aaron and Moses.
I’m holding back tears overwhelmed by their love and God’s faithfulness. One stray drop creeps down my cheek as I breath deeply and say amen. They’ve connected to and touched my heart in ways they’ll never know. God’s reminder of His goodness and grace.
So began a beautiful evening with Jesus. Reflecting, praying, repenting, and sharing. I thought I was just along for the ride, but we all know how THAT goes – we think we’re going to bless another and they bless us tenfold.
And I am left thinking of Aaron and Moses.
I know it’s not coincidence that I’ve been studying Exodus with my friend Elaine, and I know this story well. God definitely used his Word and my study time to get my attention.
Aaron and Moses are brothers, but they didn’t grow up in the same household. Pharaoh’s daughter adopted Moses and raised him in the Egyptian palace while Aaron worked as an enslaved Hebrew. As an adult, Moses murders an Egyptian who is beating a Hebrew slave; Pharaoh wants Moses dead. Moses flees to the land of Midian, where he’s a shepherd for 40 years. (THIS is the Cliff Notes; I highly recommend reading through the first four chapters of Exodus and Stephen’s address in Acts 7 if you’d like the full story. It’s awesome.)
From brash prince to humble shepherd.
And, then, God calls from a burning bush, instructing Moses to lead his people out of Egypt into the promised land. After making excuses to God, Moses says in Exodus 4:13 “Lord, please! Send anyone else.”
14 Then the Lord became angry with Moses. “All right,” he said. “What about your brother, Aaron the Levite? I know he speaks well. And look! He is on his way to meet you now. He will be delighted to see you. 15 Talk to him, and put the words in his mouth. I will be with both of you as you speak, and I will instruct you both in what to do. 16 Aaron will be your spokesman to the people. He will be your mouthpiece, and you will stand in the place of God for him, telling him what to say. Exodus 4: 14-16
God owes Moses nothing, but is gracious in giving him Aaron to help shoulder his burden.
And Aaron shows up…again and again. He makes his share of mistakes, but he steadfastly loves and supports Moses…
10 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. 11 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. 12 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. 13 As a result, Joshua overwhelmed the army of Amalek in battle. Exodus 17: 8-13
When Moses’ arms grew weary, Aaron held them up.
Moses needed Aaron; Aaron needed Moses.
We need each other.
While God has to be our center always, we also need Aarons who will hold up our arms when we can no longer hold them up ourselves. And, ‘holding up” occurs through intercessory prayer, listening ears, encouraging words, loving hearts, serving hands, and sharing tears.
I pray you choose to be an Aaron to at least one other sister in Christ. Pray, petitioning God – send me. Send me to serve another sister in times of joy and in times of suffering…in the valleys and on the mountains.
In Exodus 4, Aaron is already traveling toward Moses as Moses travels toward him. God set this plan into motion before he ever appeared in the burning bush. God set both on paths that would intertwine in the wilderness.
Looking back, I was already on the path to the wilderness and wasn’t even aware. The one I’d meet there? She’d been traveling too.
Perhaps God already has someone traveling your way, but in order for you to meet her, you must travel at least halfway. You must step out in faith and travel toward the wilderness…the unknown.
That first step may be difficult, especially if you’ve been betrayed or hurt in other friendships or relationships. (THAT was my issue.) It requires trust and honor beyond most of our comfort zones. It requires us to stand in the gap for another, risking our hearts.
Still, God commands us…
Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. Romans 12: 9-10
Don’t just pretend. Really love and honor another, spilling Christ’s love to her.
Seek to be an Aaron.