Reading: 1 Samuel 16-23
Leonard Sweet keeps writing really good books that I want to read. Right now I'm reading So Beautiful: God's Divine Design for Life and the Church. Next on my list is 11: Indispensable Relationships You Can't Be Without.
The things is, relationships are complicated.
Look at David in this passage.
We've got David and his brothers. David goes to the battlefield to take his brothers some food, and presumably to watch the excitement. And David's brother calls him on it. Apparently sibling arguments are nothing new.
And then there's Saul. They know each other already--David's been singing and playing the harp for Saul. Apparently worship music quiets the evil spirits playing havoc in Saul's imagination. But when David kills Goliath he starts to get a little jealous. So he sends David to war, hoping the Philistines will kill him in battle. Unfortunately for him, David becomes a pretty decent warrior. That's when Saul snaps and tries to kill him himself.
It gets more complicated when David gets married to Michal, Saul's daughter. And to Abigail, Nabal's widow. And some other woman.
Relationships are definitely complicated. Facebook even has a category for that.
I used to think I could do without people, and I wonder if David thinks that too sometimes.
But then there's Jonathan.
Jonathan would die for David.
When David's in hiding, Jonathan risks his own life to keep him safe.
And it's Jonathan who helps "him find strength in God" when David's in the Desert of Ziph. (23:15)
We need community.
We need people to help us find strength in God.
We need people who encourage us when we're struggling, and we need to return the favor when others struggle. We need each other.
And yes, relationships are complicated, and yes they take time, and sometimes they're a lot of work.
Sometimes the friend we hoped was a Jonathan was actually a Saul.
But if we don't take the risk, if we don't put ourselves out there, we never meet the Jonathan.
I need a few Jonathans in my life.
And I want to be a Jonathan.