There is an Old Testament story in Exodus that relates the awesome power of God and His extraordinary care of His people that I have always been drawn to. ( I won't recount it verbatim here but feel free to read it at your leisure in Exodus 17:8-16) A powerful army, the Amalekites, came to attack the Israelites. Moses chose Joshua to go fight the invaders. Moses told Joshua and his men he would stand above them on a nearby hillside with the Staff of God in his hand to call upon the Lord throughout the battle. The Israelites bravely went out to meet the advancing army while Moses, with Aaron and Hur at his side took their places above the battlefield. As long as Moses held up his hands the Israelites were winning. As his hands grew tired and fell and his body grew fatigued the Amalekites would rally a begin to overtake the Israelites. To aid Moses and the Israelite army, Aaron and Hur placed a rock beneath Moses' tired body. When his arms failed from holding the staff of God up Aaron and Hur held up Moses' arms so that the Israelites prevailed and defeated the Amalekites. "Aaron and Hur held his hands up-one on one side, one on the other-so that his hands remained steady until sunset." Exodus 17:12b
With the aid of a faithfully led army, friends on either side, and the grace of the Lord overflowing through the faith of Moses the enemy was soundly defeated. Moses built an alter and called it "The Lord is my Banner" He said, "For hands were lifted up to the throne of the Lord." Exodus 17:15-16
This week I have been humbly made aware of how great and faithful a community we live and work in. A community that has come together in the face of great adversity and will overcome and uplift one another during a long rebulding process. I have no doubts of this. Like Moses and Joshua, our local fire departments went out to face a horrible and destructive enemy. When they grew tired there were rocks set beneath them in the forms of food, water, shelter, rest, prayer, reassurances, and grateful thanks. When they grew weary and needed their arms held up there were countless volunteers to help from departments and agencies across the state. Time and again this precious story has been played out by others to care for those community members who have been the mos tdevestated by this tragedy.
I have lived in many communities both here and abroad. Home is not only where the heart is but where the biggest hearts live, right here in Phillips county. I have been able to witness firsthand the generosity of the precious people of Phillips and Logan counties. It is simply unparalleled. Even as our own victory over the danger swelled, our hearts turned towards our neighbors in Kansas who have been fighting even more devestating fires and losses. With a trailer loaded with excess water and supplies a team left to help, share, pray with and for and to hold up the arms of the western Kansas people. It is my understanding teams also went to help fight the fire from around our area after an exhausting battle here. How easy it would be to draw up, exhausted and worn, and retreat. But that is not how God's faithful in the Haxtun community deal with things. We rally, we love, we pray, we provide stones for resting the weary upon and we hold one another up when defeat seems imminent and overcome our sorrows and losses together. We are #haxtunstrong and I am humbly and repeatedly blessed to call Haxtun my hometown.
As I was about to post this blog, I received word of yet another fire south and east of Sterling, possibly threatening the very communities who helped to provide shelter to our evacuees this week.....hold our brave firefighters and these communities in prayer please. God is faithful, always.
Danine and Delana Dish it Out