‘Jonathan, Saul’s son, arose and went to David in the woods and strengthened his hand in God.’ 1 Samuel 23:16 NKJV
The first African American to play major league baseball in the USA was Jackie Robinson. While trying to break through baseball’s colour barrier, he faced insults and abuse in just about every stadium. One day at his home stadium in Brooklyn, he made an error and the fans immediately turned on him. While they jeered, Robinson just stood there at second base, humiliated. At that point shortstop Pee Wee Reese ran over, stood beside him, put his arm around him, and together they faced the crowd. Within seconds the fans grew quiet.
Years later when Robinson was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, he said, ‘Reese’s arm around my shoulder that day saved my career.’ Jesus knew Peter would ‘strike out’ and deny Him, yet He extended grace to Peter even before it happened. Here’s what He told him: ‘When you have come back to Me, help the others.’ (Luke 22:32 CEV)
When God restores you, you’ll want to reach out to others with His love. It will be as natural to you as breathing. You’ll live by the Scripture: ‘Strengthen those who have tired hands, and encourage those who have weak knees. Say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong… for your God… is coming to save you.”’ (Isaiah 35:3–4 NLT)
‘Jonathan…arose and went to David in the woods and strengthened his hand in God.’ When you feel lost ‘in the woods’ you need a Jonathan. That’s when you prove the truth of the old adage: ‘In prosperity our friends know us, but in adversity we know our friends.’ They’re the people we turn to in times of trouble. So if you think you’ll ever need such a friend, be one!
SoulFood: 2 Sam 7:18–11:27, John 2:1–11, Ps 110, Pro 23:6–9
The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright 2023