It recently occurred to me that every significant event is made possible by “supportive unknowns.” We know those who are up front, but we seldom acknowledge those who provide the wind beneath their wings.
Battles are fought and won by those on the front lines—top-gun pilots, brave paratroopers, and heroic warriors who strategize, practice, and confront the enemy, fire heavy weapons, and carry compatriots to safety.
But we seldom consider the “unknowns” who build the planes, sew the nylon used as parachutes, or forge the steel for making rifles and rockets. Those on the front lines could not survive without these unknowns.
Open-heart surgeries are performed every day by well-trained and often well-known cardiac surgeons. We respect their knowledge, and we applaud their skill as they do intricate surgeries and save lives.
But what about those “unknowns” who sterilize the instruments, assist as nurses, or make certain the operating room is ready and clean sheets are on the beds? The lead surgeons could not be successful without the full support of unknowns on the staff. What powerful roles are filled by those hidden heroes!
First Samuel 13 and 14 reveal just how important supportive unknowns can be. The Israelites were outnumbered and undersupplied. The Philistines not only had all of the iron weapons, one battalion occupied a strategic position at the top of rugged cliffs that were next to impossible to scale. While his dad, King Saul, sat under a tree, Jonathan refused to accept defeat. He decided to do what most would call “the impossible” . . . to climb those cliffs and confront the enemy . . . but he could not do it alone.
So he said to his armor-bearer, “Let’s go!” This unknown armor-bearer’s response was magnificent! “Do all that you have in mind . . . go ahead; I am with you heart and soul” (1 Samuel 14:7). Success followed, even though the odds were ten to one. Not only did they scale the steep cliffs together, they attacked the Philistines. Killing twenty, they caused the entire Philistine army to panic and “melt away in all directions.”
Most Bible students know of King Saul and his fine son, Jonathan . . . but today, nobody knows who Jonathan’s armor-bearer was; we don’t even know his name. But Jonathan did . . . and he trusted this man with his life. However, we only know this about him:
He was committed to Jonathan “heart and soul”! He played a significant role in the success of that mission.
What Jonathan’s armor-bearer meant to him, friends like you mean to us. Prayer support helps us scale “impossible” cliffs, to stay in the fight for a lost world.