11th February 2012

God’s Answer

“May the Lord show mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, because he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains. On the contrary, when he was in Rome, he searched hard for me until he found me.”
2 Timothy 1:16-17 (NIV)

It had been a very difficult week. A combination of problems, from different areas of my life, were becoming too much for me. I began to doubt whether I had made right choices. Was all my hard work just chasing after wind?

I took my fears to God.  There is “a time to plant and a time to uproot,” Ecclesiastes 3:2 wisely informs us. Perhaps this was a time of defeat – and I would be better off charting a new course.

Did I expect God to act on this prayer of mine? Looking back, I’m not sure. I just felt that I had to pour out my concerns to Him. God did answer me—in a way I did not expect!

God’s message to me came through four people: Two rang me the very next day; the other two sent e-mails. All affirmed the activities I was involved in. Most encouraging of all, one of them told me that they are regularly praying for me.

When Paul wrote to Timothy, he passed on some very bad news: “everyone in the province of Asia has deserted me”(2 Timothy 1:15). The exact nature of this desertion and the reasons for it are unknown. However, it appears to have been a terrible blow to Paul.

In this context, Paul remembered how Onesiphorus had refreshed him. The Greek, translated ‘refreshed’, figuratively refers to the impact of a cool wind on someone who is overheated.

The messages I received following my prayer were four moments of refreshment. The problems remained, but now I was invigorated.

It was the actions of others that had encouraged me—all having different reasons for contacting me.  And yet they were God’s answer to my prayer. How great is our God!

Prayer
Father, we praise you for all the ways in which you answer our prayers. We also thank you for the actions of others, through whom you refresh our tired souls. When we are in distress, help us to pour out our hearts to you. We thank you through the one who has brought us near to you, your Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Amen

Study by Ian Woodley

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