|Dinner With Best Friends|
Interestingly enough, the greatest example of friendship in the Bible is between two men. David and Jonathan had a bond that went beyond the norm. They chose to bind themselves to each other for life. Their commitment was tested in every way – marriage and family commitments, King Saul’s developing hatred for David, physical dangers, rumors, and opportunities for personal gain. Yet they remained true. Even after Jonathan’s death, David showed his loyalty to Jonathan. Their example of friendship is one I want to emulate.
Laughter and Tears:During our trip, my sisters and I laughed a lot and cried a little. I treasure the laughter and silliness in my heart and the special memories, as well as the sad moments when we shared our heartaches. Authentic friendship takes time and a listening ear - two commodities which are in very short supply in our world.
I’m sure David and Jonathan laughed a lot over the years, but the depth of their dedication to each other is revealed by their tears (1Samuel chapter 20). Jonathan checks out the situation with his father and discovers Saul does intend to murder David, so he meets his friend secretly to warn him. Despite the danger, they reaffirm their commitment to each other and cry, not knowing if they will ever see each other again.
One of the reasons I love my sisters so much is they are such encouragers. We each have exciting things going on our lives but also many challenges. Sometimes, I get mired down and discouraged. Then my sister/friends come alongside and those challenges suddenly seem smaller. I strive to do the same for them. Praying together, sharing verses and insights, and venting in an atmosphere of trust sent each of us home with new courage and energy.
David and Jonathan encouraged each other repeatedly. They affirmed their commitment, exchanged gifts, did favors, defended each other, and listened while the other vented. My favorite verse about David and Jonathan, and my life verse is 1 Samuel 23:16, “Jonathan went to David at Horesh and helped him find strength in God.” Jonathan didn’t go out against his father with an army to defend David (which might have split the kingdom and cost many lives). Neither did he try to bolster David with empty promises about how it would all work out. I imagine he listened while David poured out his fears and frustrations. Jonathan probably expressed a few of his own. Then they left it up to God. Jonathan helped David look to the only One who could help him through this mess, a habit that David continued even after Jonathan’s death.
Friendship is Personal:
My birthday was Tuesday. My parents sang to me on the message machine and both my sisters called. Kelly made me coffee in the morning, sent a rose at noon, presented me with a card when he got home, took me out for a romantic dinner, and treated me to cake and a foot rub when we got home. I received many happy wishes via text, email, and Facebook, and yet it was a very lonely day. Cyberspace cannot replace the physical presence of a friend. It seems silly to complain when Kelly spoils me so, but I missed having a friend who wanted to celebrate my birthday with me.
Wisdom and Prayer:
(c) Beth Vice, 2010