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IMG_1371.JPGWe had a chat the other day, you and I.

A chat about your name … one of your names.

Jonathan …

If I were completely honest, I would say that if you had been born at this, more vocal stage in my life, your first name would have been Jonathan (though I do so love singing “Bennie and the Jets” to you … high pitched, and my singing (in)ability means I hit every note, whether I should or not). Jonathan was, and is, the name that ‘feels’ like the one you were born to wear.

Jonathan, a gift from God.

You were, you are a gift from God to me. You were a oft prayed for, hard fought for, child of mine.

Though Shakespeare would have us believe that a rose by any other name would smell as sweet, do we become what we are named, or are we named what we are to become? Is our name a self-fulfilling prophesy?

The other day, as you poured out your heart full of concerns for a friend, I smiled. I was not smiling because I was insensitive about the concern you had for your friend. I smiled because your concern was the proof that you are growing into your name.

Jonathan, son of King Saul, best friend, and brother-in-law of David … David the greatest enemy of his father.

The words of 1 Samuel 1:18, echoed in my heart, “the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.” Knit together, like the passage from the Psalms, “knit together in my mother’s womb” (139:13). Knit, by the only one with needles so perfectly purposeful. Knit together to be one entity.

As my smile grew bigger, from my insides out, I looked at you and said “I was right to name you Jonathan.” And the question mark formed in your eyes, and the Bible story, the history story was shared.

Jonathan, the prince of Israel, the heir apparent to follow his royal father, Saul.

Jonathan had a friend, a best friend, a bosom buddy, a “friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Psalm 18:24). His friend was no blue blood, he was a simple shepherd. A simple shepherd that was a “man after Gods own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14).

Remember this son, God chooses leaders based on the condition of their hearts, not their abilities, not their credentials!

You know the story of these two. You know of the the deep love, followed by the insane, jealousy-inspired hatred King Saul had for David. You know of Saul’s plots to kill that shepherd boy. But do you remember what Jonathan did? Jonathan begged his flesh and blood father to be fair, to show mercy. Jonathan protected David from his father. Jonathan protected David, and through his protection he eventually lost his rightful place and position as King of Israel.

My son, my last born, remember when you were young, and too busy playing with trains to hug your mom? Remember what I would say?

“If you won’t hug me, I’ll have to have another baby, and then you’ll lose your place in the family as my baby.”

And you would drop everything, and wrap your arms around my neck hard … because you liked, because you wanted your rightful place.

Jonathan didn’t lose his rightful place, my sweet son, he gave it away, wrapped with a bow and a kiss of friendship, and hand delivered to the one who, he knew, God appointed in his place.

And that is who you are named after … a man who was also God’s gift. And through his selfless gift, the ultimate gift of redemption, through the bloodline of David to the blood shed of the Messiah. This Jonathan was no push over, he was aware that God’s purposes were greater, even if he might never come to understand the grand plan of the Creator.

And so, my son …

  • know that you are a gift from God
  • know that you have a purpose
  • love your friends
  • in everything, keep your heart pure … it is that which God can use
  • know that you are a gift from God

Happy Birthday, to my Jonathan.

 

 

 

 

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