This is a guest post by Jason Glas, a development manager for Concordia Properties. He oversees retail real estate development projects as well as acquisitions, tenant negotiations, coordination, and completion strategy. Jason and his family live in Louisville, KY.
Recently I received an email from a friend who is an executive officer with a large financial-investment firm. I am used to getting business oriented messages or an occasional humorous one, but the email I received last week was completely different and entitled “Prayer for a Friend.” Without sharing details, he requested prayer for a company employee who is going through a period of trial and suffering. In addition, he included a short prayer for this person (I will share a portion at the end).
We are all busy, and it is easy to stay wrapped up in our own agendas and daily responsibilities. We can fail to even recognize when those around us hit difficult periods in work and life. How blessed is this employee to have an executive officer not only take notice of his circumstances, but to ask over thirty people for prayer on his behalf. We all know what it feels like to hit those low moments and how much it means when someone actually cares for us during tough times.
One of the most selfless acts in Scripture is found in 1 Samuel 23:15-18, when Jonathan, King Saul’s son, went to visit David in a wilderness area, where he was hiding from the rage of the King. David had to hide his family nearly seventy miles away in a foreign land. David had no family around, was betrayed by the citizens he tried to help, and the ruler of Israel was trying to kill him . . . he was not having a good day. Though they could have been enemies, Jonathan and David were united like brothers and made a mutual promise to protect one another. Knowing this was one of the lowest points in David’s life, Jonathan came to him. “Jonathan, Saul’s son, arose and went to David at Horesh, and encouraged him in God.” (1Samuel 23:16) Our discouragement can be paralyzing and inhibit our ability to work. Despite the risk of crossing his father, Jonathan risked his own welfare to bring David spiritual encouragement. The word “encourage” actually means strengthened his hand.
J.C. Ryle, a pastor from England, once wrote: “A real friend is scarce and rare. There are many who will eat, and drink, and laugh with us in the sunshine of prosperity. There are few who will stand by us in the days of darkness . . .” That is what made Jonathan’s actions so important and that is what challenges me to pay closer attention to the people around me. Colleagues, employees, clients, or whatever they may be to you, pray that the Lord will give you the discipline to observe not only their productivity, but also their soul. Where do you need to go today . . . what lengths will you take to strengthen someone’s hand in Jesus’ name? May Jonathan’s actions and this excerpt from my friend’s prayer encourage you to lift up others who are struggling:
Lord, I don’t always understand Your ways. I don’t know why my friend has to suffer, but I trust You. I ask that You look with mercy and grace toward him. Nourish his spirit and soul in this time of suffering and bring comfort to him with Your presence. Let my friend know You are there through this difficulty. Give him strength. And may You, through this difficulty, be glorified in his life. Amen.
“When a good man is hurt all who would be called good must suffer with him.”