Love is a battlefield…

I must confess, Pat Benatar is one of my all-time favorite rock artists from the ‘80s. As a teenager I would crank up the volume on my stereo and belt out the lyrics to her songs with an unmatched attitude that often accompanies teenage angst and anger.  Quite simply, that woman rocked (actually, she still does)! 

If you are a product of the ‘80s, you have likely heard Pat’s passionately delivered song, Love is a Battlefield (if you need a refresher, just click the link). While this song represented independence and desperately desired self-sufficiency to me as a teenager, I find that it has quite a different meaning to me as an adult.

You might be thinking, “Where in the world is she going with this?”  Let me explain.

Like you, I’m no stranger to difficulty in life.  I’m in the midst of a pretty significant struggle right now – a battle, if you will. It’s not a fight against cancer or an ongoing feud with my neighbors – but it’s a struggle that often interferes with my heart’s desire to serve God, love others, and provide encouragement to those around me.

Lately, I’ve been feeling like I’m losing this battle… it’s ongoing, it’s exhausting, and it’s based on a profound desire to fight for what’s best for someone I love more than my own life. Giving up is not an option; love is a battlefield that involves our spirits, our hearts, our minds, and our emotions.

I recently read about another individual who faced a pretty significant battle, and I began to think about how this person successfully fought – and won – the battle he faced. Although his battle was quite different than my own, the same concepts can be applied.   

In the Bible (Exodus 17:8-15), there’s a guy named Moses who is leading a group of Israelites in a battle against the Amalekites (lots of “ites” in the Bible…).  Moses stands atop a hill holding a walking stick that God had given to him and, as long as he holds his hands high, the Israelites win.  If his hands came down – you guessed it – the Israelites start losing.  As you can imagine, Moses’ arms become tired as he holds the stick – much in the same way we become weary as we fight a battle for an extended period of time. Thankfully, Moses had a couple of great friends, Aaron and Hur, who recognized that Moses needed some serious help. They each took one of Moses’ arms and helped him hold that stick high up in the air, and – you guessed it – the Israelites defeated the Amalekites thanks to (literally) the support God provided through Aaron and Hur.

This passage caused me to wonder how many times we “lose” the battle instead of being victorious, like Moses and the Israelites.  Here are a few of my thoughts:

  1.  Does our own self-sufficiency stand in the way of victory?  In other words, are we trying to do too much by ourselves?
  2. Do others around us know of our battle and our need for their support? Restated, do we keep our problems to ourselves or share them with a trusted friend?
  3. Do we recognize the battles that are being waged in others’ lives and uphold them so they may continue to plead with God and fight their battles in spite of their exhaustion? Do we offer support?
  4. Do we align our closest relationships with those who will “hold up our hands” (like Aaron and Hur did for Moses) when we become tired and worn?
  5. Do we choose whom to uphold based on their struggles instead of their pleas for help? In other words, are some struggles too “uncomfortable” for us to step in and lend support?

My prayer for today:

God of the battle, as I walk alongside those who are struggling may I find ways to support them when they become weary, encourage them when they can’t stand on their own, and stand in the gap to plead for their victory.

If you don’t have a friend or two who can offer this kind of support and love in your life, be that person to someone else. You’ll be surprised at the kind of relationships it will produce in your life.

 Now, back to the battle…

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