Wise Words

Today’s Passage: 2 Timothy 3:14-15

“Don’t live here alone.”

When I arrived at graduate school, the first few days were a flurry of introductions. I had a fantastic advisor, and she shuttled me all around campus meeting people. One of the most memorable was a graduate faculty member in a different program at the farthest end of the campus. I quickly learned that we were from the same home state and that her family grew up in the same community as my paternal grandmother. In our first moments of connecting, she looked at me so sincerely and said simply, “Don’t live here alone.” I understood immediately, but it took a little time to experience what she meant and then I really knew.

You see, I went to a top-tier doctoral program at a Big 10 school. The culture was competitive and selfish and the environment was culturally homogeneous and often anti-God. I was confronted with all sorts of prejudiced racial, age, and gender based behaviors and had more than one moment of “what in the world” that I had to deal with in and out of the classroom. So I quickly had to get to work to build communities and networks of like-minded classmates/peers and allies if I was going to survive there. I went from understanding to knowing that being in that space alone meant certain death of some part of me. Community was life. Fuel. First aid.

“Don’t get ahead of God.”

Everything seemed to be on track with our second pregnancy until we went to our gender reveal ultrasound. A quick visit turned into hours and the tech would tell us nothing. When we finally talked to our radiologist and our OB about potential “concerns,” we were shocked and confused. I remember calling my mother and crying and just falling to my knees on the bathroom floor. “Don’t get ahead of God,” she said. And that begin the real journey of gathering myself, my village, and my faith.

It was probably the most encouraging command that could come from a parent in that moment. I understood and I moved, but I didn’t know the depth of what she meant at first. It took the many appointments and many days of waiting to see how God would move. It took the other stories to see how God would protect our marriage, our family, our finances, our health. It took a willingness to say, I won’t rush ahead and try to “fix this” for God to fill our days with grace, laughter, and joy in the midst of incomprehensible news.

Has your world ever been shaped dramatically by a few simple but wise words?

Paul delivered an abrupt reality check to Timothy throughout chapter 3. He reminded him there would be persecution and that the evil he saw around him was indeed the landscape. But Paul followed it with wise and memorable words. Today’s passage sets them up with a firm, action verb.

Wise Words

“Continue.”

Even when the landscape changes, even when we face unwanted news, the call is to continue. When it comes to enduring in the faith, we must continue to stand on and operate from the foundation that has been given to us in the Word of God. It is a clear and understandable direction, but sometimes we expect some complicated strategy to get us through the tough times. The truth is simple, direct, and cuts straight to the heart of the matter.

Paul tells us–If you want to endure in the faith in all times, you must continue in the truth of the Word and keep believing in God. Or if said like the women in my life, “Don’t forget what you know and Who you know.”

“But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.” (2 Timothy 3:14-15)

Continue on, friends. He is for us, and He has taught us what we need to grow in this faith journey.

2 thoughts on “Wise Words

  1. Pingback: Gather | Dr. Mon's Creative Space

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