“Man born of woman is of few days and full of trouble.” Job 14:1
Life brings plenty of adversity.
Companies downsize…cars quit running…kids need braces for their teeth…the stock market takes our money and emotions on a roller coaster ride…a windstorm takes shingles off the roof…a son or daughter quits responding to our authority. Illness plagues us. Friends bail on us. The list can be endless.
The Apostle Paul would have understood the impact of tribulations in our lives, for his list would make most of ours pale in comparison. Paul was a hounded and wounded man for most of his life. His list of trials included things like shipwreck, floggings and five times receiving the dreaded 39 stripes from Roman authorities. His was not an easy life.
When his travels took him to Asia, his heartbreak was compounded when some of his closest friends deserted him. And in that dark and despondent setting God sent Paul a man who knew how to refresh a friend. His name was Onesiphorus. (II Timothy 1:16-18) He knew how to be a blessing and send a cool, refreshing breeze into Paul’s life.
God’s original plan for us was to experience prosperity, peace and fulfillment. But the entrance of sin into the world tends to make a mockery of those concepts. In this dry, barren wasteland that life often is, we need someone to speak God’s intentions back into our lives.
When we say to someone “God bless you” we are declaring that God is still good and wants to move into their life with good gifts. And when we bless them with action or resources along with our words … it can be life changing!
Living his life to bless others became a life style for Onesiphorus. Paul found refreshment and fellowship many times in Onesiphorus’ home. Nor was his commitment to bless Paul affected by the circumstances in Paul’s life. When others felt Paul unworthy of their time, and visiting him in jail a bit of a risk to themselves, Onesiphorus kept pouring the cool waters of friendship and care upon Paul. There is the insinuation that he blessed the work of Paul in a material or financial way as well.
We each need to be refreshed and each of us should refresh others. We are surrounded by people reaching the ends of their ropes and doing a good job of hiding the desperation and despair of their lives. They may need only a cup of cold water and an encouraging word to help them make it through their current battle.
This week, remember … just like Abraham, you have been blessed to be a blessing!
“I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you;
I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.” Genesis 12:2 NIV
Be sure to check out this week’s Fresh Heart video devotional … available on YouTube. Just type “Fresh Heart For A New Day” in the search box.