“alexander the coppersmith did me great harm; the Lord will repay him according to his deeds. beware of him yourself, for he strongly opposed our message.” [2 timothy 4:14-15]

we get a really unique view into paul’s heart here and there’s two important things that paul brings out in these two verses that i want us to focus in on today.

first, paul isn’t afraid to recognize and state the hurt and the pain that he’s felt. he doesn’t shy away from the fact that this man caused him “great harm.” paul is real and raw here, his heart is bare.

second, we see what paul does with that hurt and that pain. he takes it all and throws it at the foot of the cross. he doesn’t hold on to it, he doesn’t let it sit and stew in his heart, but instead, he gives it all to Jesus and trusts the Lord with it.

this is such an incredible window into paul’s heart and a perfect example of how we, as followers of Jesus, are to deal with pain and hurt in our lives.

we have to recognize our wounds as hurt. we have to see our brokenness as pain. that’s the first step, being honest with ourselves.

to be transparent, i struggle with this. it’s so much easier for me to pretend that i’m not hurting or that everything is “okay” even when it’s not. but what God has graciously showed me is that it’s okay to be hurting and it’s okay to be broken and it’s important to not only recognize that, but to stop running and allow yourself to feel that hurt.

but it can’t end there. – it doesn’t end there. 

the second part is just as crucial as the first! we can’t just stay in the pit of our own brokenness and pain. Jesus calls us to take that brokenness and that pain and that hurt, those horrible words that were carelessly thrown our way or those hurtful actions that still seek to define us to this day, to take those and throw them at the foot of the cross.

give that hurt, give that pain and brokenness to Jesus. trust him with that brokenness and that pain. this is what paul does in the second part of verse 15 as he says “the Lord will repay him according to his deeds.” paul is taking that hurt and pain and laying it at the foot of the cross as he trusts Jesus to carry that burden that seeks to define him.

that’s my encouragement for you today. spend time in presence of God. be still before him and allow him to open up those areas of your heart that you’ve kept so closely guarded for so long. recognize that hurt, see the pain and take it to Jesus! run to him and lay your burdens down at the foot of the cross. spend time meditating on this verse and be still as your loving heavenly father tends to your heart and carries your burden.

“come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. for my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”  [matthew 11:28-30]

~ josiah bridges