A Personal Note
Lord God, my life has ridden a current of relationships. I thank You for each person; show me how to bring Your love to them.
Read PHILIPPIANS 2:19-30
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Our world today has been referred to as “The Age of the Shrug.” Or, put another way, “Who Cares?” Timothy and Epaphroditus are examples of how Christians should care in our hurting and broken world.
Dear Epaphroditus, Greetings from a twenty-first century follower of Jesus! Allow me to introduce myself, because when I arrive in the new heavens and the new earth, you are among the first people I want to meet! I know little about you, yet every time I hear your name and recall Paul’s tender words about you, I am deeply moved. You, like Paul’s apprentice Timothy, were the flesh-and-blood model of living a life worthy of the Gospel. Your gritty courage and practical attention to Paul in his time of need caused him to celebrate you as a “brother, co-worker and fellow soldier” (25).
I love you for your vulnerability, too. There is a sense in which you and the church may have felt you failed as their ambassador of care to the imprisoned Paul because your stay was cut short. Even once your near-fatal illness was behind you, Paul was so worried that you were worried that the Philippians were worried about you that he sent you home! Your fragility and distress makes your sacrificial selflessness, as you gambled your life for Christ, all the more poignant.
I also want to thank you, Epaphroditus, for being the postman, bringing this letter to the Philippians and to millions of Christians throughout the ages. At your most wounded, you were God’s instrument of a legacy beyond your imagining. Image and honor, strength and achievement are highly valued, so feelings of failure can be very real. Paul’s enthusiastic endorsement of your costly service, described as worship, amid weakness highlights what brings delight to the heart of Jesus. By God’s grace, the disappointment of your mission to Paul is transformed into the incalculable gift of your example and of a letter that has sustained his worldwide church for centuries. Thank you from the bottom of my heart! Your debtor.
How has God transformed disappointment into opportunity in your life?
Loving Lord, I am grateful for those who have cared for me in my times of need. I am always so grateful that I can roll all my cares on You.
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