On my last Sunday serving as a student missionary in Meridian, I was given the opportunity to preach at First Baptist Church in Cranfills Gap. After praying, I felt the Holy Spirit leading me to preach about the relationship between Jonathan and David as recorded in 1 Samuel.
It’s interesting to see just how strong a relationship they had. Jonathan at one point even gave David his robe and armor. Keep in mind Jonathan was royal heir to the throne. So, by giving David his robe and armor, Jonathan was basically saying David was rightful heir. That must have taken a lot of humility. The way Jonathan protected David from his own father was incredible. Jonathan literally went behind his father’s back to protect David. Talk about bearing each other’s burdens!
Every time I think about Jonathan and David, I remember the relationship between Samwise Gamgee and Frodo Baggins in The Lord of the Rings. One of my favorite scenes in the entire trilogy is when Frodo basically can’t carry himself any longer, so Sam decides to carry Frodo. This shows the length Sam was willing to go through to bear with Frodo.
We can’t do this alone
Being the only summer intern was probably one of the most challenging issues I’ve had to face. The biggest thing I’ve learned this summer is that everyone needs a Jonathan. We can’t do this alone. Even in the beginning, God created man and woman. We were made as relational beings in order to bear with each other. David and Jonathan were in a covenant relationship that was bound by their affection for one another. They even renewed their covenant with each other at one point so they would be accountable. Everyone needs someone like that—much like the relationship between Sam and Frodo. Going this summer without that strong relationship with anyone has been extremely difficult.
I remember a Howard Payne professor saying, “It’s not my faith; it’s our faith.” This is so true. I think a lot of times as evangelicals we tend to have this individualistic mindset that says, “I can do this by myself.” If one part of the body suffers, we all suffer.
Bear each other’s burdens
I don’t think I could have done my work as a summer missionary without the support of my supervisors and the locals I befriended. This has been one of the most challenging summers I’ve had in my life, but now I can look back on it and say, “I know what it’s like to be alone.” When I go back to school, I won’t take for granted the relationships God has given me as we bear each other’s burdens.
Daniel Harris, a student at Howard Payne University, served this summer in Meridian with Go Now Missions in Meridian.