In staff devotions this week I was challenged by a message from 1 Samuel (thank you Auntie Mel). In chapter 14 Jonathan decides to leave camp without telling anyone and only takes his young armor bearer with him. (I wonder how old this armor bearer was because his courage and faithfulness are pretty remarkable.) Jonathan wants to go to the outpost of the Philistines and his armor bearer responds with such an incredible statement, he says:
“Do all that you have in mind. Go ahead; I am with you heart and soul.” (NIV)
“Do what you think is best. I’m with you completely, whatever you decide." (NLT)
"Do all that is in your heart; turn yourself, and here I am with you according to your desire." (NASB)
"Go ahead. Do what you think best. I'm with you all the way." (Message)
This one phrase is powerful. From Jonathan's perspective he has the support of one person and it is that support that gave him the courage to pursue his dream. The backing of one man gave Jonathan boldness. From the armor bearer's perspective he knew who his faithfulness and devotion belonged to and no matter what he would stay with Jonathan.
I began to look inside my life after reading this asking myself if I had the character of the armor bearer. "No matter what, I am behind you heart and soul." Is that my heart towards my friends? Would l risk my life to protect them? The second question that came to my mind was whether I have people supporting me in that way. Are my friends with me heart and soul?
Are we in this together? Do we walk through this life embracing courage for one another? I am so blessed by the friends in my life. God has surrounded me with incredible people that support me. I can't even tell you the gratitude that overflows from my heart when I think of these people. Through these friends I have been challenged to dream big and trust and grow. It is because of them that I have the courage to take leaps of faith.
I pray that each of you have an armor bearer in your life. I hope that someone walks alongside you giving you the courage to GO and DO.
I pray that I am that to my friends and my children. Perhaps all my kids need is someone behind them saying, "I am with you heart and soul." While I will not always be near them, able to physically hold their tiny hands I know that I can protect and defend them from afar through prayer and petition. It may just take one person saying "I am here for you" that inspires a child to change his community, his world. Steps of faith aren't taken easily. They require strength, purpose, and courage. Who will give them this courage? It is up to us. It is up to me.
a couple random pictures from tonight :)