READ: 1 Chronicles 11:10-11 (or see the extended passage of 1 Chronicles 11:10-12:15)
10-11 These are the chiefs of David’s Mighty Men, the ones who linked arms with him as he took up his kingship, with all Israel joining in, helping him become king in just the way God had spoken regarding Israel. The list of David’s Mighty Men:
Jashobeam son of Hacmoni was chief of the Thirty. Singlehandedly he killed three hundred men, killed them all in one skirmish.
THINK: David’s Mighty Men were willing to risk their lives by crossing the Philistine military camp in order to bring David water from the Bethlehem well. What incredible friendship!
Discuss this passage with a friend or spiritual mentor. What do you think about the idea of linking arms with others? Is it awkward? Is it worth the effort?
PRAY: Tell God about any worries or insecurities you have about linking up with others. Pray for the discernment to choose a few mature, like-minded people to link arms with you and the boldness to ask them for help.
LIVE: Approach these individuals and ask them to link arms with you.
Merciful Heavens, Dear Readers. If I’ve had one discussion about linking arms with people over the course of the past 18 months, I’ve had dozens. It seems that God has me right smack-dab in the middle of having to link arms with people when all I really want is to not have to. Funny thing is: I never really considered myself to be a person who had a hard time asking for help. I guess I just never really ran across anything I thought of as insurmountable. And if I did, I guess I just deemed it outside of God’s will, so I didn’t try.
So, let’s see. What could possibly worry someone about having to link up with others? What worried me? Well….what if what I think is important isn’t? What if I need help and nobody is there? I was asking God to deliver me from this situation – that would’ve been help that I couldn’t do for myself – and he wouldn’t do that. So why should I believe that he’s going to put it on the hearts of others to help me in my hour of need? Why would he do that when he could’ve just delivered me and wouldn’t?
The conclusion I’ve come to – the only one I’ve been able to draw that seems to make any sense for where I am in my life right now – is that I needed to see how the body of Christ can work when they are led by the Lord. In all my desire not to have to link up with people, I’ve had no other choice. And what I have witnessed, and what my children and parents and husband have witnessed, is God working through people – is Jesus with skin on, working to support one of his own. When I felt like God had dropped me on my head, and had no reason to believe that others wouldn’t do the same, what He has shown me is that we do all need each other. There are some gifts that I have that the body needs. That’s why God gave them to me. Likewise, there are gifts that people around me need to share, and they needed to be shared with me (for now), and I needed to see them being shared. And my kids and my husband and my parents and countless other people around me who I’m sure I will never realize needed to see this, have needed to see these gifts being shared. I have no idea why God chose my family for this time or this time for my family, but I believe that someone needs to see our church family being the church family RIGHT NOW for this season. And maybe, just maybe, someone in our own congregation needed a chance to take a step up and BE the church, to be the participant in the body of Christ that He called them to be. I don’t know. I am sure that there are wonderful and glorious things happening through our situation that I will not get to know this side of Heaven, but they are happening for sure.
I do have to say that there is one thing I am grateful for, that I knew even before I got the point where I am now that I would be grateful for. Under PRAY, it says to ask God for discernment to choose a few mature, like-minded people to link arms with. I knew, when all this first started that, if things didn’t go my way, I wouldn’t even have the luxury of turning my back on God because of the people I had surrounded myself with. My closest friends through this whole ordeal have let me whine and cry and mope, but they have not let me live in a pit of despair. These friends have known me long enough to see things in me that I have doubted or lost sight of or questioned if those things were ever there, and they have repeated back to me things I’ve said in the past that I’d forgotten I believed when I was at my lowest. They have helped me to stand back up and brush myself off. But, they have also challenged me through my doubt. They have made me ask myself if I ever really believed those things I said. They have not shied away from asking me hard questions and telling me hard truths even when they’ve tried to make me laugh and told me to take it easy on myself. They have been gracious and merciful, but they’ve worn their steel-toed boots in the process, because sometimes I just need a good, swift kick in the pants. They have laughed with me (and sometimes at me). They have cried with me and they have cried for me. They have prayed with me and they have prayed for me. They have rejoiced with me and mourned with me, and they have all comforted me with the comfort they themselves have received (at one time or another) from Christ Jesus himself. In short, they have been to me – and my whole family – the very representation of the God and Christ that I thought had deemed me unworthy of helping by not delivering me in the first place.
Dear Friends, if you find yourself floundering tonight, wondering where God is, why He seems to have left you out in the world, all alone, with no intention of saving you, might I suggest you look around you. Is there someone in your life who just won’t go away? Is there someone in your life who insists on being nice to you and you find yourself wondering why, or what it is this person could possibly want from you, because you know you have nothing to offer? Maybe that is your lifeline and you don’t recognize it.
Or maybe you find that there is someone in your life that you’re drawn to and don’t know why. Have you made an effort to talk to that person? Might I suggest that by refusing to talk to that person, you may be missing a divine appointment. It takes a little bit of effort. You might even be really uncomfortable at first. Please, please, please…make the effort. You never know if your next best friend is just a conversation away. You never know if someday that person will be your lifeline when you need a friend. Without a doubt, God has put you right where you are for some reason. Without a doubt, he has put in your way the people who are in your life right now. Aren’t you the least bit curious to find out why?