I’m an old man… and simply put cannot do all the things I used to do. I love playing hoops yet, even though the rim still looks to be attainable, getting there is a different story. If I play games now I am a defensive liability; and offensively I am only a help when I can get back down the floor…
I remember back in the day when I was a young man and still in good shape; and there were still times I couldn’t get back on “D” in time. I would yell to a teammate, “Pick me up”, and then I would have to recover to help my team. (I watched yesterday as the USA national team allowed an inferior team to stay close for 3 quarters of a game; this was largely due to the fact that the other team was setting picks to get defenders behind their men and unfortunately the help side defenders were late in “picking up” their teammates.)
The reality is that no matter where we are in the “game of life” we all need help at times; we need to have someone “pick us ups”! This is true as individuals and as the church.
The last couple of weeks our pastor has been encouraging the church to “engage.” He has been reminding us of the necessity to all play our part on the “team.” He referred yesterday to a great picture in Scripture of a “pick me up” moment.
In Exodus 17:8-13 Moses and the Israelites are in a battle with the Amalekites. Moses is the leader and is relying on strength and direction from God to carry them through. As the battle plays out it is very interesting. As long as Moses holds his hands and the “rod of God” up in the air the Israelites were winning; when he lowered his arms they started losing. Seems important for Moses, the leader, to keep focused on what God has told him to do; yet you try holding your arms up in the air for hours on end. The Scripture records that his “hands became heavy” (vs 12.) So those around him (Aaron and Hur) got him a rock to sit on and stood beside him supporting his arms until the battle was won.
The application for you? Your church needs you! Your church leaders need warriors and those to support them as they hold up their hands and the “rod of God.” We need to be making a difference in our local bodies!
Another application is that I need you! (As do many other missionaries and ministry directors.) It is hard and tiring to stay the course. For 7 years I have been “holding up my hands and the rod of God” and trying stay engaged in the battle and follow His calling in my life. Yet I am old and need someone to “pick me up.” We have some “engaged” in the battle for InBounds Ministries! (Keep fighting MAD Hoops warriors!)
I will be totally transparent in this week’s devotion. My “hands are heavy!” I recently posted a newsletter/update on our ministry. It shares the amazing “victories” we have been witnessing. It gives plans for the direction God is leading us. It also tells of our needs to stay engaged in the battle.
The part that is difficult is that I have had little response to that newsletter. A couple of people “liked” it and “shared” it on Facebook but that is it. I haven’t heard responses of those willing to “support my hands” by at least committing to praying for us; yet we also need financial “support.” We have pressing needs in our ministry! I would much rather be focused on the people God has called us to reach than on the bank balance! (And I know that is true of most missionaries and ministry directors.)
This week is a challenge to be engaged! It is a challenge to hear your teammates (in your church and in missions) yelling, “Pick me up!” (And maybe for some of you it is me / InBounds you hear yelling…)