“may the Lord grant him to find mercy from the Lord on that day! – and you well know all the service he rendered at ephesus.” [2 timothy 1:18]

to be honest, i almost missed this, i almost passed by the beauty here in this verse in my desire to keep going and press on. but there’s something that’s unique here, something so beautiful…

paul is in the midst of telling one of the most heartbreaking stories when an exclamation appears out of nowhere!

we are watching as paul, a faithful missionary, church planter and disciple, is abandoned, left alone, isolated and in thrown in prison. we see this man, who has led thousands to the Lord and planted countless churches, reduced to a common prisoner and completely abandoned. and then only one person, one man out of the thousands he’s loved and discipled seeks him out, finds him and refreshes his soul in the midst of his pain.

and as paul sits, alone and isolated, on a cold prison floor, his heart is stirred within him as he remembers the goodness of God. he is so moved that he has to stop mid sentence and proclaim the Lord’s goodness and faithfulness before he is able to continue!

paul’s heart is moved and he’s able to praise even in this terrible situation because he has spent time in the presence of God. as we spend time with our heavenly father, in his presence,  our hearts are filled and our eyes are opened to see his goodness and praise him. his presence becomes the dwelling place of our hearts… a place of thankfulness found at the foot of the cross. a place of rejoicing, even in the midst of the most intense hurt and pain.

so be still, spend that time and rest in the goodness and grace of your heavenly father, cast your eyes on the one who has conquered death, who is risen and alive!

the one who holds death and sin captive invites you, yes you, his dear child to rejoice and to dwell with him both now and forever.

“therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure…  in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” [ps 16:9,11]

~ josiah bridges