Today's Devotional Thought
May 30, 2013 by Rachel Piferi
Love Like Jonathan
I was talking with a friend recently about her son. And she was sharing some of the woes that he was experiencing in life. And as she was talking about what she thought could help him, she said, "I just wish he could find his Jonathan."
I knew exactly what she meant and I smiled because Jonathan is one of my favorite characters in the Bible. As I thought about her comment, I couldn't help but find myself back in the book of I Samuel where I read through the story of this precious friendship again.
Do you have a Jonathan?
If you read through the story of David & Jonathan, you see very quickly that this was a special friendship. It was a friendship marked by a deep soul connection, a willingness to do anything for the other, and a lifelong commitment to each other. It is one where Jonathan willingly gives his possessions and his position in his father's kingdom to David. And, it is one marked by deep sorrow when they are forced to separate. These two men were more than best friends. They shared a soul-level brotherhood that can be clearly seen on the pages of I Samuel.
Even though this friendship is between two men, I believe that this type of friendship is the type of friendship that all women crave. We crave the connection that is clearly described at the beginning of I Samuel 18. We crave the security that comes from knowing we have a best friend that will be will us through thick and thin. And we crave the displays of loyalty and devotion that can be seen throughout the story.
We see clearly in I Samuel 18, that David and Jonathan's hearts and souls were connected. I Samuel 18:1 tells us that the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David and that he loved David as himself. And throughout the story, we see displays of his great love for David. We see that Jonathan gives David his robe, his armor, and his sword as a gesture of giving David his rightful position as heir to throne (I Samuel 18:3-4). He puts himself in danger by defending David to his father (I Samuel 20:32-33) and he ultimately risks his own life to help David escape Saul's plans to kill him (I Samuel 20: 35:42).
As I read through the story again, I was struck once again by the complete devotion and loyalty that Jonathan had towards David. And I wondered about how it must have felt to David. What did it feel like for David to have someone who loved him so much that he gave him such loyalty, devotion, and security? Did he wonder why God had placed this love for him in Jonathan's heart? Did he wonder if he even deserved it?
As I reflect on this precious connection, I cannot help but think about the many women whom I meet that crave this type of friendship. So many women crave this type of soul connection, but sadly, so few actually have it.
Why is that? Why do so many crave this connection and yet still don't have it?
I think the reason is simple: we are looking to be loved like that rather than looking to love others like that.
Many do not have this type of deep friendship that they crave because they simply don't love like Jonathan loved David. They want to be loved like that, but they aren't willing to love like that. They aren't willing to take off their robe and give it to another. They aren't willing to risk their own safety for their friend. And they aren't willing to truly lay down their life for their brother. They aren't willing to love like Jesus told us to love.
At the beginning of this devotion, I asked, "Who is your Jonathan?" Who is that person who loves you so much that they will give you their possessions, their protection, and their loyalty and love forever?
Friends, that's the wrong question. The right question is, "Who are a Jonathan for?" Who are you there for, through thick and thin, offering your possessions, your loyalty, and your love to? Who are you loving selflessly like Jonathan loved David and like Jesus loves us?
Do you want the soul-level friendship that we crave as women? Then pray that God will show you who it is that he is calling you to and then love like Jonathan loved. Friends, trust me, when you find the one person who God wants you to be a Jonathan for, that friendship will be life changing. You see, the friendship between David and Jonathan is a once in a lifetime soul-level brotherhood that resembles how Jesus loves us. And to find it, you have to be willing to love selflessly.
Open your heart today to loving like Jonathan and ask God to show you who he wants you to be that type of friend for. I think you'll be amazed at the friendship that develops when you just love another person like Jonathan loved David, selflessly and holding nothing back. Love like Jonathan. Love like Jesus.