It’s hard to believe that we have this letter that your servant Paul wrote to his friend not long before he expected to die. That the words that you gave him to share with Timothy were so profound – that they were inspired by you, yourself. I’m not sure what I would write to a close friend if I were in jail expecting that I would be sentenced to death. There is no wonder that the book – the letter – is so densely backed and intense.
And Timothy… still wrestling with a church with renegade leaders. Overreaching leadership. Trying to teach all kinds of different things from your teachings. Leading people in all different directions. How do you lead a church like that in unity with a focus on you, on Christ, your gospel – your truth as revealed by your Spirit through your word – or the scriptures and the teaching of Christ as they had then. What a hard job.
No wonder it is of God’s grace, his mercy and his peace that Paul reminds Timothy – what comfort. The things that Timothy probably clings to (longing for them from his church), and that his church need reminding of. I know I do – constantly. What comfort there is in these three things that you have given and promise that we will know even more fully in heaven. I bet these are things that Paul’s eyes are cast toward now also as he longs to see him.
Imagine having someone giving thanks for you night and day in their prayers. For the work Timothy is doing? or for Timothy himself? I tend to think both. Please forgive me Lord for not taking the time just to thank you for people, for the work they do, their ministry, their generosity, their friendship. Please help me to be more thankful. Thanks for Timothy and the faithfulness that you gave him, for his mother and grandmother who also had faith in you and for the words that we have to learn from here because Timothy was a faithful servant of yours and a friend of Paul’s who needed encouragement – and who Paul wanted to see again before he died.
Father, I don’t say it often enough – but thank you for a family who care for each other. Thanks for giving Joel and Paul and I parents who loved us and brought us up the best way they knew how. Thanks for Karen and for Lisa while she was with us. Thank you for the kids – for Hamish and Callum and Emily and Jasmine. For love. Lord I pray that you will help Joel to be reasonable about Hamish’s faith. That he will not cut himself off from the rest of the family in suspicion. I ask that you will open Joel’s heart and draw him to yourself. Please God. Claim both him and Paul as your own. Take Karen and Callum and Jasmine and Mum and Dad as well. May they become faithful servants of you. Thank you for the encouragement that is mine and the glory that is yours in Hamish and Emily. And thank you for my new friend, Megan.