Strength in God, Part 2
Jonathan helped David find strength in God.
1 Samuel 23:16
There is a beautiful picture of this kind of encouragement in the friendship of Jonathan and David. Jonathan’s own father wanted David dead. Instead of encouraging fear in David, Jonathan encouraged him to find strength in the Lord. He also helped him escape. Many friends came alongside of our family when grief took over our home. They offered help and hope through practical deeds, making sure our home did not descend into chaos while all of our energy flowed into processing the absence of our son, Mark. Though they felt helpless, their actions helped create a pathway into the arms of our Father, where we discovered He is sovereign and we could trust Him.
That is our goal for our hurting friends, that in the darkness they will discover treasures designed to remind them that God is their Father and Lord, and He knows their name. He is holy other, yet totally present. We cannot fathom this kind of power, but darkness is an opportunity to grow deeper in intimacy with Jesus. When you enter the darkness, go acknowledging you don’t know what to do, so your eyes are fixed on Jesus. Declare your dependency on Him. Watch for the treasures that God is sending to your friend. Help her see His presence and touch. And look for those treasures that He is sending to you, as you are His representative in the broken friend’s life.
LIFE GIVING ENCOURAGEMENT
Review the prayer from yesterday’s devotional. Jot down practical ways in your journal that you can encourage a friend today. It may seem completely unspiritual, yet by obeying God’s nudge, you are reflecting the love of Jesus, and becoming the shoulders, arms, hands, and feet of God for your friend.
STORE UP MORE TREASURES
At some point in our lives, we or someone we know will go through great suffering. I encourage you to go the MARKINC website and listen to our adoption audio resource so that you can store up treasures of encouragement for the next rainy day in your life or someone else's. Here is a summary and teaser of this resource:
Well meaning people sometimes exhort adopted children to be thankful for the many privileges they have as a result of having a “forever family.” This resource encourages that gratitude but also acknowledges that side by side with a grateful heart is often a broken heart as a result of feeling abandoned by their birth parents. In keeping with our goal to produce and distribute resources that address life crises that are difficult to discuss as well as how to help those experiencing them, we are grateful to offer this compelling interview that is designed to equip adoptive parents and adopted children to better understand the “primal wound” that some adopted children experience. In this candid interview, Dan and Laura Betters share their thoughts and plans for helping their adopted daughter process the grief and disappointment she might experience as she better understands adoption. Lisa Adams-Reese, a seasoned adoptive mother and woman who helps place adopted children with their families, offers her own experiences and wisdom that will free parents to intentionally develop an honest, safe place for their children to express any sorrow, anxiety or feelings of abandonment. We know you will be encouraged and inspired by their stories.