Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Missing Link

“For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;”
I Timothy 2:5

Are there people in your life who don’t get along? What can you do when you love two people who seem to hate each other?

In the Bible, the book of I Samuel 14, we find a story of a beautiful friendship between two young men, David, who was a shepherd, and Jonathan, the son of King Saul. In Chapter 18, and verse 1 the Bible tells us “that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.” From his youth, David had been anointed king of Israel by Samuel, the prophet. We won’t go into the whole story, but with the passing of time, there was a certain tension between Saul and David. In the same chapter, verse 9, Saul watched David suspiciously. In verses 6 and 7, returning from a battle, Saul heard the women singing the praises of David, because Saul had slain his thousands, but David his ten thousands.

On several occasions, Saul threatened David’s life, and tried to kill him. Jonathan was David’s best friend, but he was also the king’s son. There’s a very sad passage, where Jonathan appears to convince David that his father, the king, would never try to kill him. He wanted to “fix” the relationship between his father and his best friend. In a certain sense, Jonathan became a “mediator” between these two men whom he loved dearly. He failed. Saul was a deceiver, a liar, and a hypocrite, and once when it would have been very easy for David to have killed Saul, he saved his life instead. Saul cried, pretending to humble himself before David. But the first chance he had, he tried once more to take David’s life.

A link is one of many rings that form a chain. The dictionary uses the word “bond.” If only one link is missing, the chain loses its unity, or its bond. It’s broken. In a sense, Jonathan tried to be the missing “link” in the relationship between his father, Saul, and his best friend, David. Without a doubt, Jonathan loved both men. Perhaps he suffered, because of the enmity between the two people in his life whom he loved most. Surely he felt a great sorrow having to live between two men who couldn’t get along.

Perhaps you have two family members who don’t speak to each other. Maybe your parents are divorced. How sad when we love two people with all our hearts, who are enemies. And sorrow upon sorrow when they’re our parents! Think very hard before you even consider divorce. Think of the effect it will have on your children. Even though your children are grown, they need that security that “my parents love each other.”

What can you do when you love two people who don’t get along? Perhaps because of a problem, two of your children don’t speak to each other. Maybe two of your siblings, perhaps two of your dearest friends, can’t stand to be together. In a significant way, you can be an “intercessor,” the “missing link.” It’s possible that those two people in your life love you dearly, as you love each of them. Just as David loved Jonathan, I believe King Saul must surely have loved his son, also, although he tried to kill him once. (I Samuel 14:39) Had it not been for his being rescued by the people in verse 45, he would have killed him. Although Jonathan failed in his effort to restore the relationship between David and his father, and he was never to put that broken friendship back together, to a certain extent, he was the “missing link.”

When friendship’s chain is broken, it’s because of a missing link. And you could be that missing link. What should we do to repair a broken chain?

1. Pray for both of them. Remember, you can do a lot to help a relationship, but only God can change hearts. When two people don’t get along, it’s because there’s a problem in their hearts…in one or both. Ask God to change their hearts.

2. Ask God to show you any fault you may have in this broken chain relationship. Sometimes, we’re so close to two people that we don’t realize that we may have a negative influence. Our prayer should be like that of the Psalmist David: “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:23, 24

3. As much as possible, don’t take sides. Try to remain neutral. That’s hard, because sometimes it’s obvious who has the blame. Do you find yourself in that kind of a relationship? Are there two people in your life whom you love with all your heart? They may not hate each other, but they at least show disgust toward one another. It hurts. It makes us shed tears. In broken relationships, rarely is only one party at fault. To some degree, both are responsible. But you can see the great part of the blame lies in one of the two people you love dearly. Try not to take sides against him or her. Do you know why? The chain is already broken, and you don’t want to break another one…your relationship between them and you. When you begin to take sides, you risk damaging the relationship you have with one of them.

4. Sometimes, when we’re with the person who seems to be the innocent victim of a broken chain, there is a temptation to speak badly of the guilty one. Gossip, criticizing someone is a sin, and even worse when you are criticizing their enemy. That makes the situation worse, and you, who should be the strongest link, instead of repairing the chain, are making it even weaker. Watch your mouth, especially when you’re in the presence of one of your loved ones.

The Bible teaches that when a person rejects Christ, she’s an enemy of God. There’s like a breach, a gulf between the two. Ezekiel 22:30 says, “And I sought for a man among them that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.”

Jesus loves us. He loves His Father, and when He sees that the relationship between two people that He loves is broken, it makes Him sad. The Bible says in I Timothy 2:5 “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;”

There is only one Person Who can “fix” the relationship between God and the sinner…Jesus Christ. There’s no one else. There is absolutely nothing we can do to deserve God’s love. It’s all by grace. “For by grace are ye saved through faith;…Not of works,…” Ephesians 2:8,9 You may think you have no enemies, but if you don’t have an intimate relationship with God, you’re enemies. Remember, Jesus not only wants to be our Friend, He paid the price so that you could have His Father as your best Friend.

1 comment:

Jolene said...

Thank you, Mom. Such a difficult topic, but, oh, so very needed!