I read this in my Edges of His Ways Devotional this morning, and I had to search my heart:
***from Edges of His Ways:Daily Devotional Notes by Amy Carmichael, p.16, January 10th excerpt:1 Samuel 23:16: "And Jonathan Saul's son arose, and went to David into the wood, and strengthened His hand in God."God make us all his Jonathans. There is a great hunter abroad in the world. Like Saul who sought David every day, he seeks souls every day; never a day's respite, always the hunt is on. Although the words stand forever, "but God delivered him not into his hand," yet sometimes souls tire of being hunted, and like David they are in a wilderness in a wood. Then is Jonathan's chance. But notice what he does; he does not so comfort David that he becomes necessary to him. "He strengthened his hand in God." He leaves his friends strong in God, resting in God, safe in God. He detaches his dear David from himself and he attaches him to his "Very Present Help." Then Jonathan went to his house, and David abode in the wood--with God.
As one with the gift of mercy, I had to search my heart. Do I comfort or advise people so that I become necessary to them, or do I do so encouraging that God become necessary to them?
And even deeper, who do I reach out to when I'm in trouble? Do I grab the phone, or do I hit the floor? Do I rely on the counsel of others, or do I turn to the Word? And when I reach out to others, what kind of people do I call on? Those who will pray for me and tell me the Truth, or those who will tell me what my flesh wants to hear. First and foremost, the Lord wants to become my "ever present help in times of trouble." Then He will lead us to the people who will give us the Truth He wants us to follow.
Wowzer, Amy Carmichael always gets my heart and mind thinking and seeking. I could be tempted to take this powerful devotional of hers today too far in either direction at any given time, though. God gives us people in our lives both to help and to lean on...but may we never allow someone to lean on us so so hard and so long that they forget to lean on their Rock, their Redeemer, the ONLY firm foundation. (And visa versa).
Lord, give me an undivided heart during times of trouble. May I come to You first and then follow Your leading and Your timing on help from others. Strengthen me, O Lord. Help me not to be a spiritual weakling, but strong in You, Father--God-strong instead. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.
In the Key of HE,