Today’s Passage: 2 Timothy 3:10-11
I knew exactly what I wanted to write about when I wrote these verses, but it has been hard to blog about for one reason.
I miss my church.
Of course I know a church cannot belong to me, and all over Paul’s writing we are reminded that the Church is more than a building. But that’s exactly what I’m missing. I miss my people.
Before we moved, we were a part of an amazing fellowship that reflected so much of the good stuff Paul writes to Timothy about. One of the many ways that church family encouraged me in enduring in the faith was by continually teaching on who God is. When you learn who God is, He becomes not just the Author and Finisher of your faith, but also the Fortifier who strengthens your faith and steadies you in shaky times.
One of my favorite lessons from my pastors that has helped me so much this year was learning that God is the God of Rescue. I have been in church and the Word all my life, but had never heard anyone refer to God as the God of Rescue until this church. It has become one of my favorite phrases to use, and I love looking for rescue missions in the Bible.
What is your favorite story of rescue in the Word?
So, I immediately thought of our God of Rescue when I got to these two verses from Paul:
“You, however, have followed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, my persecutions and sufferings that happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra—which persecutions I endured; yet from them all the Lord rescued me.” 2 Timothy 3:10-11
Paul recalled Timothy’s faithfulness as a student, mentee, and friend and sealed in words for us the depth of their relationship. He also mentioned again his experience of persecution, not to brag but to encourage Timothy that none of the opposition he prepared Timothy for in the previous verses was new to him. In a way, it was likely reassuring for Timothy to know that someone he deeply admired had gone through the roughest parts of the faith journey and could still minister and live full of faith and joy.
But it is the last words I love most. “Yet from them all the Lord rescued me.” These are the short little lines and phrases I love to mark in my Bible. Throughout all the Old Testament and New Testament stories, God not only comes to the rescue, but He becomes the rescue we need in all things through Christ. Understand–Paul is writing here from prison. He was not at that moment “acquitted” or “saved” or “freed” from a worldly sense. But he had God–he believed completely in the rescue of Christ–and therefore in all things he had the source of rescue.
I am so grateful for my church. I know the Lord will continue to work on the behalf of my family to plant us somewhere new. He has already been faithful in keeping us going and motivated to visit new churches and be patient in all the stalls and starts that come in the church-hunting process. I can see His hand rescuing us from the idleness, bitterness, frustration, and fear that could come with this part of the transition, this part of what is unknown.
I celebrate the Paul-like lessons of the church I miss so much. I praise the God of Rescue for who He has been, who He is, and who He will always be.