A Second Chance

Friendly relationships are interesting things.  Sometimes they are there for a season, other times they are there for a lifetime.  King David had a lifetime relationship with Saul’s son Jonathon, so much so that Jonathon gave David everything he needed to be accepted in the king’s court (1 Samuel 18:3-4) out of his own pocket.  (It’s interesting to note that David was probably young enough to be Jonathon’s son or even grandson, yet the two had a friendship that made them like brothers.)

In The Den in Big Bend National Park, Texas
In The Den in Big Bend National Park, Texas

Most of us have experienced friendships that break at one point or another.  It can be an “oh well” or a heart-breaking experience, depending on the situation.  I’ve often asked the Lord, “What went wrong?  Did I do something or not do something?”  If it happens frequently enough, it’s easy to believe that there’s something wrong with you – or else to blame the other people in the situation and refuse to take responsibility.  Both responses are equally wrong and will only bear the fruit of more broken relationships.

Dark Canyon, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
Dark Canyon, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

Often, friendships are broken through a tiny offense.  Maybe someone said something.  Maybe they did something.  Maybe there was a miscommunication.  The tiny offense is very little – love can easily overcome it.  Peter said, “Above all, love one another deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8).  If love is shown, if love is chosen, the relationship can continue in peace.

Pretty wildflowers along the Ibantik Lake Trail, Uinta Mountains, Utah
Pretty wildflowers along the Ibantik Lake Trail, Uinta Mountains, Utah

But if love is not shown, then the offense becomes betrayal.  And if betrayal is not dealt with, it will become hatred.  Hatred is exactly the opposite of Who God is.

Mt. Shuksan from the Lake Ann Trail, Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, Washington
Mt. Shuksan from the Lake Ann Trail, Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, Washington

We see that in the life of King Saul.  He was offended that David got more praise than he did (1 Samuel 18:8).  The offense became jealousy, which became betrayal, which became unrestrained hatred.

Rock formations in the Valley of Dreams, New Mexico
Rock formations in the Valley of Dreams, New Mexico

Often, we grieve the loss of a friendship, especially when we loved and trusted the person or people.  That’s understandable and even good.  We were made for relationship.  But sometimes, in our grief, we miss the reason God brought us into the relationship in the first place.

Spray Park, Mount Rainier National Park, Washington
Spray Park, Mount Rainier National Park, Washington

Sometimes you were sent into the relationship by God to give the other person a “second chance,” so to speak.  God knew that their heart had issues and was trying to nip those issues in the bud before they could wreak havoc in the person and/or their family and/or their spiritual life.  When they refused to listen to the Lord through you and allow God to help them deal with those issues, God delivered you from the relationship – so that you wouldn’t have to witness the person’s destruction of themselves.

Wildflowers in Hidden Valley, Shasta-Trinity National Forest, California
Wildflowers in Hidden Valley, Shasta-Trinity National Forest, California

When a friendship dies, or you are betrayed, remember: Jesus was betrayed by one of His closest friends.  God is still there for you, still has a plan, and still has relationships for you to be in.  He is our closest friend, and while we may not understand why the friendship ended, we can rest in the fact that He is still holding us.