May the Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, for he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains, but when he arrived in Rome he searched for me earnestly and found me. 2 Tim. 1:16-17
Dear Lord Jesus, Onesiphorus is just one of many of my brothers and sisters I’ll have to wait till heaven to meet. Being married to you has placed me in a most amazing family; and like every other family, it’s a broken family filled with broken people. But like no other family, it’s a family with a guaranteed future of whole people and perfect relationships, beyond all imaginings (1 Cor. 2:9). I praise you for paying the supreme price of your life, to secure such an unimaginable eternity for your Bride.
But here’s one of my brothers I’d like to be a lot more like, long before we meet in heaven. Though Onesiphorus’ name literally means “bringing profit,” he didn’t have to live that way. Like me, if he just threw his heart into “cruise control,” he could’ve been self-absorbed, hypercritical, a record keeper of wrongs done, a quarrelsome type, real sensitive, taking everything way too personally. In short, he could have been a real drain to be around. But instead he became a source of refreshment; and according to Paul, he worked hard at it.
Lord Jesus, make me, like Onesiphorus, a much more refreshing person. Fill my heart with your mercy and grace. Give me gospel eyes to see others as you see them. Sensitize my spirit with your Spirit, to respond to needs quicker and with more joy. Free me from working hard just to get my to-do list done, that I might work hard at bringing the manna and water of fresh encouragement to others.
Help me be aware today of those who really need a kind word, some reason to hope, a concrete manifestation of care. It may be at the price of an airline ticket to find them. It may simply be a walk across the street, a drive across town, a face-to-face visit, a hug, a call, an email, a text—some small thing that will bring a profit beyond my imagining.
Lord Jesus, you searched hard to find us, and you did. You’ve broken our chains and you’ve borne our shame. May I offer a refreshing taste of your love and grace to others today, no matter what their chains are. So very Amen I pray, in your loving and liberating name.