Stacey Crawford

So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 NLT

I am in a really difficult season, perhaps the hardest season I have ever walked through so far in my life. Those who know me know that I am usually a person who tries to be strong, persevere, pick myself up by the bootstraps so to speak, and just keep pressing forward. I always try to be strong for everyone else, and I’m often more focused on others than I am on myself. I want to be the person others come to as a sounding board, a shoulder to cry on, or simply someone they know they can trust. But this past week, I came to the realization that I just can’t right now. I am barely running on fumes, and many days feel as though I am crawling through life. At first, this was really hard for me because I love to be there for others. I often times thrive on it. But in this season, I have had to take a back seat, step away, and take time for myself. And the truth is, it’s actually healthy. I can’t pour out from a very dry and empty cup.

In this season, I need others to be there for me. I need others who are full to pick me up, come alongside me, and help me. And that’s okay. Just this past week, a good friend of mine reminded me of a story in the Bible about a leader who was normally the one who was there for others. At a time when he was weak, his friends took care of him. The Israelites were in battle that was a unique, in that as long as Moses was holding his hands up, they were winning. But any time his hands would fall, the Israelites began to lose. Moses grew tired, but in that moment, his friends helped to keep his arms up.

 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 17:11-13 NLT

That is what I need right now. I am weak, I am struggling, and first and foremost I need God. But I also need my friends to be there for me in this difficult season. I need others to encourage me, pray for me, listen to me, allow me to cry on their shoulders, and simply pick me up on the days when I can’t. That, my friends, is what the body of Christ is all about. It’s about give and take. It’s about being there for those who are hurting and broken. It’s about encouraging and loving each other in the good and bad seasons. It’s about celebrating with those who are rejoicing. It’s recognizing that sometimes I can be the one to fill others, but there are also moments and seasons in my life when I need others to be there and lift me up. When the body of Christ functions like this, it is an absolutely beautiful thing.

Who are the people in your life who you encourage and help in times of need? Who are the people in your life right now who need you? Who needs your listening ear, a shoulder to cry on, someone to be their strength and help? On the flip side, who are those people for you? Who do you allow to encourage you, to help you, to cry out to when life is overwhelming and everything feels as if it is falling apart? It’s a give and take, my friends. Yes, we are to go to God with everything, ultimately allowing Him to be our strength and the One sustains us, but God also gives us friends, community, and others to be there for us, too. When the body of Christ functions like this, it is amazing. God does not want you to walk through the dark seasons on your own. Community is how God designed for us to live. My challenge and encouragement for you today is to be there for others, but also to allow others to be there for you. We weren’t meant to walk through life alone…we need each other.

 Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ.

Galatians 6:2 NLT