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
Lord Jesus, Onesiphorus is just one of many of our brothers and sisters we’ll have to wait till heaven to meet. But long before then, I’d like to become much more like him. Though Onesiphorus’ name literally means “bringing profit,” apart from your grace, he could have lived quite differently.
He could have been self-absorbed or hypercritical, a quarrelsome type or super sensitive, a gossiper or a people-fixer. In short, he could have been a real drag to be around—the kind of person people turn from, rather than towards. But instead, he was just the opposite. He was a source of kindness, loyalty, and refreshment; and according to Paul, he worked really hard at it.
Jesus, make me a more refreshing, encouraging, and authentic person. Fill my heart with your mercy, kindness, and joy. Give me gospel eyes to see others as you see them, not as I wrongly assume or want them to be. Sensitize my spirit with your Holy Spirit.
Help me focus more on “being with” than “doing for” people—offering less advice and more of your welcoming presence. Free me from needing to seem smart, spiritual, or having my act together.
Jesus, as Onesiphorus with Paul, you searched hard to find us and you succeeded. Thank you. You’ve broken our chains and borne our shame. You desire us and delight in us, you pray for us and will return for us. Hallelujah!
May we offer a palpable taste of your heart and love to others today, no matter what chains bind them or the address of their prison. So very Amen we pray, in your loving and liberating name.