“Will you be my best friend?” I asked a girl in my sixth grade class. Even at eleven, I desired to have that one friend who would be there for me no matter what. The next year I went to a different school, and though my best friend and I tried to stay in touch, my heart began searching again and continued to search for a best friend over the next several years.
When we think about ideal friendships our minds probably gravitate to what that relationship provides me. My friend Tiffany, for example, provides me unconditional love, security in her friendship, a never-ending belief in me, and unbiased (and often unfiltered) advice.
But how often do I think of how I can be a good friend?
When I read about David and Jonathan in the Bible, I read about a mutual friendship that transcended class and even family. My heart warms as Jonathan protects and cares for David. I mourn with David as he finds out his friend is killed in battle.
But Jonathan’s friendship to David goes much deeper than a mutual camaraderie. I could list many examples but for this post I want to focus on one.
“David saw that Saul had come out to seek his life. David was in the Wilderness of Ziph at Horesh. 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 the king over Israel, and I shall be next to you. Saul my father also knows this.’ (2 Samuel 23:15-18, emphasis mine)
Jonathan, King Saul’s son, was next in line to be heir to the throne. Yet here he is, affirming the Lord’s choice of David to be king.
Jonathan’s Best Gift
Jonathan could have said many things to encourage David. He could have explained how logistically Saul’s men could never overtake David’s men. He could have come up with a plan of escape for David. He could have soothed David’s fears in many different ways. But instead of focusing on the situation surrounding them, Jonathan did something different.
Jonathan affirmed the call of the Lord on David’s life.
Circumstances were cast to the periphery as Jonathan simply reminded David of who he was: the anointed King of Israel.
He wasn’t the king of Israel yet, of course, which makes his encouragement so telling. He overlooked the details of the situation to remind David of who he was.
My Friend’s Best Gift
Over the last couple of months, I’ve experienced how powerful that ministry of friendship can be. Tiffany and I have had cappuccino chats where she has seen me insecure, lonely, and confused. I shared my circumstances in detail, but instead of addressing the circumstances, she addressed my heart. She reminded me of my calling, of who I am. She didn’t flatter me and wasn’t afraid to gently tell me something that wasn’t the easiest to hear. But even in those times she was speaking to who God has made me to be – as a wife, mom, church member, Bible teacher, and ordinary woman.
And she probably didn’t even know what a gift she was giving me.
My Best Gift
Could it be that one of my best gifts I could give a friend is to affirm who she is in the Lord? To remind her of her calling?
When she doubts her value as a child of the King…
When she can’t see past the enemies that surround her…
When her insecurities overshadow the God-sized calling on her life…
When she questions her anointing altogether…
a good friend will remind her
that she IS a child of the King.
that her enemies WILL be overthrown in God’s perfect timing.
that her insecurities only remind her that her calling is God-sized because it’s only achieved through the power of God, not in her own abilities.
that her anointing is sure.
I know the value of a friend like that, and I want to be that friend. I want to go beyond encouraging words, beyond a listening ear. I want to seek to affirm the call the Lord has placed on my friend’s life – whether that’s as a wife, a mom, a ministry leader, a friend, a coworker, or whatever role she fills.
I want to be a Jonathan.
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