In Exodus 17: 8-16, the story is told of a battle between the children of Israel & the Amalekites. They’ve (children of Israel) been delivered from Egypt, crossed over the Red Sea, and are now in the wilderness trying to get to the Promise Land. However, similar to many of our lives, they have to fight their way to the promise, and this time, their opponents are the Amalekites. Everybody has a role in this battle: Joshua is told to gather an army, and go to battle, Moses stays at the top of the hill & holds up “the rod of God”, Aaron and Hur…
…hold up Moses’ arms. At a first glance, it seems like everybody has a glamorous role…except Aaron & Hur. Think about it, Joshua gets to go & fight (grrrr!!!), Moses gets to be a symbol of the fact that God is with Israel (ooooohhh). The children of Israel win the battle as long as he’s holding up the rod. They have the memorable, dramatic, preach-topic roles. Aaron & Hur?…they get to hold up Moses’ arms. You rarely hear about them at all on an average Sunday morning (honesty moment: I didn’t know who sweet Hur was until I read this for myself). They don’t get a lot of attention, but today, I want to use them as examples of what we should all be: servants.
Can you imagine what would’ve happened if Aaron or Hur got mad & decided that they didn’t want to play their role in this story? If they acted like some of us did, and got upset because they wouldn’t be seen or recognized at the post-battle celebration? I can hear it now, “this isn’t fair! Joshua gets to fight! I like to fight! Moses gets to sit up here & hold the rod. He can't even hold it up for the whole battle. He needs to let somebody else, like me, hold it up for a shift or 2. Ohhhhh but noooooooooo, I don't get to fight. Can't even touch the rod. They want me to hold up this old man's arms. Really? Really?! This is all I'm good for? Do they KNOW who I AM?!” If either Aaron or Hur had taken that attitude, it’s possible that Israel would’ve lost the battle. Their role in this story may not have been as dramatic or glamorous, but it was definitely essential.
I think that we’ve lost the art of true service. Not serving for a promotion, or serving to be seen, but serving God’s people as we’d serve God Himself. Every battle has somebody that needs to be supported, and a supporter (or a few supporters). However, we glamorize the stage & being in the spotlight, so that’s where a lot of people aim to be. We have a lot of people that want to be supported, but not as many that are happy just supporting. However, a lot of people don’t realize that it’s hot up there (like…for real). The person that you see on stage or always in the front has to deal with a different level of burdens, most of which, you never get to see. Don’t believe me? Cool, because I thought about some (slightly random) examples.
Think about pastors, and the 3 a.m. calls they get because somebody is sick, or dead, or is on the edge of the edge, and needs prayer…now. Oooh! What about football players (there’s a switch, huh lol)? I went to UT, so our football program is a big deal (especially on campus). One of my professors pointed out that if we make a C on a test (or in a class), nobody really knows but us & the professor. However, if a football player misses a crucial catch, misses the game winning field goal, etc., it’s on ESPN (and every other sports network/show)….24 hours a day….7 days a week…being played over…and over….and over (and now, with the internet & such, it’s basically solidified for the world throughout eternity). 1 mistake can define them for quite some time (especially with Texas, because we have a different level of confidence/arrogance lol).
I’ve even experienced the heat of the spotlight a time or two. As some of you may know, I was the director of the gospel choir at UT. While this lovely little shift from regular member to director came with an upgrade in my title, it also came with an upgrade in my schedule (meetings, meetings everywhere lol), and an upgrade in my responsibilities. God had given me a vision, so I had to upgrade a few things in my personal life for the vision to come forth in public. I had to fast more, do more to ensure that my private life matched the songs we sang in public, go to rehearsal when most of the choir decided to stay at home (and not take out my frustration on the few that came). Also, the choir was pretty small, so there were a quite a few times when I had to lead a song, or help a section out (with half a throat because my voice never worked at 100% when I needed it to). There were a lot of things that I didn’t do because I took my position seriously. It wasn’t just about the people, it was about what I presented to God, and how I handled the stage He had given me. I quickly learned that a lot of people think this whole directing/leadership thing is cool & fun…but there’s a lot of background work necessary to present a pure sacrifice to God.
Maybe you aren’t convinced about the importance of being a servant/supporter by your pastor, or football players, or lil ol me, so let’s call in the big guns: Jesus. Jesus, like many of us, played both roles in His time on Earth. He’s the epitome of what it means to be served, and what it means to be a servant. He was at the forefront of His ministry, and as the leader, He had to tell the Pharisees, etc. about themselves, fight off Satan, and bear the weight of the cross. The man didn’t even get to die in peace, because He saved somebody dying on the cross next to Him. However, shortly before He took on the weight of the cross , He washed the feet of His disciples. He never lost heart of a servant, even while He was “on stage”, and neither should we.
There will be moments when you’ll need somebody to hold up your arms, and times when you’ll need to hold up somebody else’s arms. Don’t look down on the role or responsibility because it doesn't seem glamorous; to serve God is to serve His people with excellence. Wherever you go, whatever you do, never lose your ability to serve. You may not be in the public’s spotlight, but that doesn’t mean that you won’t be rewarded. All of the people that we consider to be the ‘greats’ of the Bible were servants. The glory isn’t always on the (hot) stage; sometimes, it’s in holding somebody else up and ensuring that God’s name is glorified. The most beautiful heart of all is that of a servant. Never lose your servant’s heart, be encouraged, and make sure that you do something to help somebody else be great today.
Background Music: Your Heart - Casey J
Words from the Author
At the end of the day, these posts are the thoughts that run through my mind. These are the lessons I've learned. The doors that I've walked through. The path I've chosen. This is part of what it means to be me. Hopefully, it'll help you be...you. Let's grow together, kay?
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