Quality alone time is something we all long for on occasion, but the feeling of being alone in our times of struggle and distress is certainly not a good thing, and when we ultimately isolate ourselves from our family, friends and prayer partners it becomes easier to entangle ourselves into old thoughts and dangerous habits. Thankfully we do have Godly family members, friends and prayer partners who gladly walk life together with us, reminding us of God’s love for us and helping us in troubling times. In the Bible we have the wonderful example of this sort of friendship between David and Jonathan. In the book of 1 Samuel we learn of David, fresh from his amazing and victorious battle against Goliath the Philistine, being welcomed and celebrated by King Saul, only to quickly find himself the subject of the king’s raging jealously. So bad was it for David that his very life was in constant danger of the hateful king.
Thankfully David did not have to endure this horrifically difficult time alone. He had the friendship of the king’s son Jonathan to support him in this time of need. From 1 Samuel 18:
As soon as he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.
Jonathan’s friendship had to be a comfort to David in his time of difficulty, but the pledge of friendship didn’t necessarily remove the danger in David’s life. Let’s read further into the story to see the relationship deepen.
And Saul took him (Jonathan) that day and would not let him return to his father’s house. 3 Then Jonathan made a covenant with David, because he loved him as his own soul. 4 And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was on him and gave it to David, and his armor, and even his sword and his bow and his belt.
In this amazing example, Jonathan’s friendship and support of David cost him his relationship with his father, the King.
Jonathan also sacrificed his own well-being and safety by giving David his armor and weaponry: David was now well-armored for battle because of his friend’s sacrifice.
For me personally, I am reminded of a time in my life when I was experiencing a serious life trauma and I hadn’t told anyone. My boss at the time – David Jordan – recognized that I had anguish in my life. It was the worst time of my life, and David sat me down and shared that he had a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, that He was his Savior, and if I ever had any questions about God, heaven or The Bible that his door was always wide open. This simple act of care and friendship literally saved my life. I’m thankful to still call David my friend today, nearly 25 years later. “Friend” almost doesn’t seem strong enough. David is my brother!
Friends, I want to encourage you to pursue healthy and supportive relationships in your life. When you think about your friendships take a moment to consider removing your “armor” and handing it to your buddy knowing that it will make things a little more difficult for you, but in the long run provide the love and support that your friend requires in his time of need. Consequently, examine the friendships that you have and seek God’s wisdom in identifying the potentially unhealthy ones. Be forever blessed by the “Jonathans” you have in your life, but beware of the potential “Sauls.”
The Bible has additional insight on our relationships with our believing brothers and sisters in The Lord, showing us how to encourage one another while making certain to gather often to deepen our relationships. From Hebrews 10:24 –
And let us consider how to spur one another on to love and good deeds. 25Let us not neglect meeting together, as some have made a habit, but let us encourage one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
You are not meant to live your life alone. Jesus is walking with you and He has placed amazing people in your life to pray with, support and love. I know sometimes relationships are difficult, but in light of what we have learned today God provides us with wisdom and discernment to choose the right ones and to sometimes walk away from the hazardous ones.
It is also important to utilize the “quality alone time” I alluded to at the beginning.
What we do in our alone time is just as important as the bonding time we spend with our loving and supportive friends. We talked about David’s struggles with King Saul. These were times when his life was literally in peril. In his alone time David prayed and wrote of his fears, apprehensions and desperation. He cried out to God. David’s alone time resulted in some powerful Psalms (take some time to read Psalms 7, 27, 31, 34 and 52 as examples).
Life is a battle some times. Don’t try to fight it alone!
This selection is from a FUEL Ministries (Focused Upon Eternal Living) study that I wrote. I encourage men who are weary from the battle and seeking God’s grace and mercy to examine the study and other tools available through this wonderful ministry.
Please visit them at: http://fuelministries.org/