At my first defense no one came to stand by me, but all deserted me. May it not be charged against them! But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. — 2 Timothy 4:16-17
We have all experienced abandonment and know the feelings associated with it. A few times in life, I have felt the loneliness that comes from being left out. Intentional or not, it hurts. When it happens with enough frequency or within significant relationships, the pain may even linger because the issues go unaddressed. And sometimes, in this pain, we live in bitter bondage that keeps us tethered to the past. And we must learn to let this go, which is what Paul is modeling here.
But to let it go, we must find a relationship that is worth tethering to. A trustworthy person. A person who will not abandon us. A person who looks beyond our sin and shortcomings. And Paul mentions a shortlist of these people in words surrounding this text. But the one that he stands with now is the one who always stood by him — the Lord.
If you feel deserted and lonely today, try letting go of the bitter bondage to past issues and people. Tether yourself to the Lord. May his commitment to you strengthen you. And then tell others who are deserted just like you, the story of a God never abandons but came to seek and save the deserted.
ASK THIS: How has God been faithful to you?
DO THIS: Tell others how God has been faithful to you in the comments below. (Remember, this could help another lonely soul today.)
PRAY THIS: God, make your presence known to me today. Help me to let go of past hurts and hang-ups and tether me to your love, forgiveness, and grace.
PLAY THIS: I Am Not Alone.
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