That Kind of Friend

There are some days when we are humbled by our own brokenness. We realize that we have not been the Christian spouses, parents and friends we needed to be. And indeed, however much we grow, however mature we become, however spiritual our lives are – we cannot always be the people we should be. We will wound with our words, we will hurt with our actions, we will feel the sting of emotions, because we are human.

God already knew we would not be perfect people. Though I can do some good, I cannot be everything to another person. Only God can do that.

So what do I do? Give up? Live the life of a recluse? Become an Ebenezer Scrooge? Perhaps we can learn from Jonathan:

And Jonathan, Saul’s son, rose and went to David at Horesh, and strengthened his hand in God. And he said to him, “Do not fear, for the hand of Saul my father shall not find you. You shall be king over Israel, and I shall be next to you. Saul my father also knows this.” And the two of them made a covenant before the Lord. David remained at Horesh, and Jonathan went home. ~ 1 Samuel 23:16-18

Perhaps, in the realization that I cannot give everything to another person, I simply point to the One who does supply all our needs. I am not trying to discourage the good and practical services we can give to those around us (in fact, I think the Lord can use them for His own glory and His own purposes). But the best thing we can do for anyone is to point them to the Lord, to strengthen their “hand in God,” as Jonathan did. The Lord offers strength and healing that will last far longer and be far sweeter than anything my own meager hands could extend.

Because, beloved, we know that sometimes we will fail no matter how hard we love – but the Lord? His love, His strength is strong and sure and sweet – and it will never, never fail.

Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
    his understanding is unsearchable.
He gives power to the faint,
    and to him who has no might he increases strength.
Even youths shall faint and be weary,
    and young men shall fall exhausted;
but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
    they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
    they shall walk and not faint.

~ Isaiah 40:28-31

Photo by Seth Doyle on Unsplash

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