but when he arrived in rome he searched for me earnestly and found me… [2 Timothy 1:17]
paul’s resume as a man willing to do whatever it takes to advance the gospel is pretty well established. shipwrecked, beaten, imprisoned. and at the same time, in this writing we see paul’s love, appreciation, and need for community. it’s fairly easy to look at this passage and say that onesiphorus did a great thing by seeking out paul when he was in prison. but i want to draw your attention to paul’s response to onesiphorus’ action.
joy. gratitude. refreshment. receipt.
it would have been so easy for paul to say, “don’t worry about it onie (i assume that was his nickname). i’m good. go check on someone else.” but paul’s response is more along the lines of, “i’m so glad he came. i needed that. i was struggling.”
bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. [galatians 6:2]
we are not created to be alone. our need for community is meant to reflect the community that the godhead has amongst itself – Father, Son, and Spirit. the gift of community is meant to remind us of the way Jesus carried our sins on the cross.
i know our circumstances are different today than they were 2 months ago. and being connected to community looks different also. if you are struggling with some aspect of this – loneliness, apathy, temptation, sin, depression, sadness – today you have the opportunity to seek community in two places. first, in the presence of God. sit at his feet and ask him to meet with you, to remind you of how Jesus carries your burdens.
second, from the body of Christ. reach out to a brother or sister and ask them to refresh you. let them bear your burden with you. you do not need to stand alone today. come, be refreshed by the body of Christ and your savior Jesus.
~ keith kozlowski