Paul is very pleased to relate what a glowing report he received from Timothy. His fears have been put to rest and he is rejoicing instead.
It had not been a long time since Paul and company left Thessalonica but it still nerve wracking to Paul. They had such a short time there to plant this church. What kind of soil were they from Jesus’ parable? Were they rocky soil that sprang up quickly but also died in the heat of the day? Were they thorny soil that the cares of the day choked out the word? Or were they good soil that would yield an abundance of fruit? Paul could take the uncertainty no longer so he sent Timothy to check it out.
The report Paul received back made his heart sing! They were growing in faith and love. They were also remembering Paul and company with love and longing. Both groups wanted to see the other. They were also enduring against persecution.
The joy that Paul was expressing was not simply joy for himself. He was excited for the body of believers. He knew their future was secure in Jesus. He was rejoicing over their safety. He was also glad that he had not labored in vain. What he was doing had Kingdom consequences; for him and for them.
Because of Timothy’s report Paul’s prayer shifted. From, “Let them have understood and really given themselves over to Christ” to, “Thank You Father that they have received Your Son and help them grow in Him every day.”
Father God, I need to pray the first prayer Paul prayed. I feel like my “labor has been in vain.” My children are not walking with You anymore. I honestly don’t know if any of them are now. I know the two oldest aren’t. What do I do? How do I pray? I feel like a failure. I certainly can’t say I have lived Paul’s example so I don’t have that as a platform they were taught from. I tried to model my life after You but I know I fell short. Were my shortcomings the seeds of their doubt? If so, what can I do to fix it?
I CAN’T fix it! I have to trust You to do that work. Please Lord grab hold of my children and help them see the TRUTH. Make Your concepts and Your words speak louder than any Youtube video out there. Call out to that empty hole in each of them that only You can truly fill. Show me how to pray and how to let them fall if need be. HELP! My SOS prayer.