Being a True Friend—Being a Jonathan
1 Samuel 19:1-7; Romans 12:10–16
He was the kind of friend we all wish for. His name was Jonathan, the son of King Saul and heir apparent. However, Jonathan was a loyal friend to David, the Bethlehem shepherd boy whom God had chosen to succeed Saul as king. Saul was fiercely focused on killing David; Jonathan was fiercely devoted to his friendship with David. Steadfast and single-minded, Jonathan had an unwavering commitment to David.
Don’t we all wish we had a friend like Jonathan? A kind of friend who gives us room to vent, grieve, sort things through, question, and express emotions without judgment or betrayal. A “Jonathan” remains steadfast, a sturdy and sure support throughout the seasons of life. A “Jonathan” is needed, especially when life is hard.
On Wednesday night when we look at our prayer guide, I always remind myself and those present that we should pray for the caregivers who are taking care of family members and friends. Being a caregiver to someone with disabilities, long-term health problems, or a terminal diagnosis presents so many challenges, but, regrettably, there are very few “Jonathans” to provide care for the caregiver!
Romans 12:10–16 addresses many characteristics of a “Jonathan.” If you know someone living with seemingly unbearable caregiving demands, he or she needs a “Jonathan” more than you can imagine! Listen as I read through Paul’s words, then note the qualities identified in the passage. I find thirteen in these verses:
Honor, Zeal, Spiritual fervor, Serving as unto the Lord, Joyfulness, Hopefulness, Patience, Faithfulness, Hospitality, Unconditional blessing, Empathy, harmony, Humility.
In David’s life, Jonathan was essential. In our lives, “Jonathans” are essential, most especially to those with unending demands and sweeping emotional heartaches. Let us seek the Lord today by asking Him to lead us to someone for whom we might become a “Jonathan.” As a result, we will be used by God to give to this person invaluable help and hope.
As always, please continue to prayer for Central during our transition. Pray for each other; pray for Pastor Marcus, pray for our deacon leadership, and pray for the staff.