from Lynda Lindsey
May the Lord show mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, because he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains. On the contrary, when he was in Rome, he searched hard for me until he found me. May the Lord grant that he will find mercy from the Lord on that day! You know very well in how many ways he helped me in Ephesus. II Timothy 1:16-18
A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed. Proverbs 11:25
An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up. Proverbs 12:25
Peter, speaking to a crowd after he healed the crippled beggar: Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, … Acts 3:19
Burned out. Overworked. Stressed. Anxious hearts. We all need times of refreshment; a fresh mental, physical, or spiritual burst of strength and energy revives and restores us. Kind words and deeds cheer us. Paul, languishing in a cold dungeon in chains, soon to be martyred, commended Onesiphorus, a friend and brother in the Lord, for bringing good cheer and hope. Onesiphorus didn’t just easily stop in to see Paul; Onesiphorus first had to find his friend. He searched hard, going out of his way.
The wonderful parallel here is to our Lord Jesus Christ who brings us hope, kindness, joy, and times of refreshment. He searches the highways and byways, seeking the lost; inviting us to partake for eternity of refreshment at His banqueting table. His sacrificial love breaks our chains of bondage and sin. The fresh wind of His Holy Spirit blows through our life, renewing us, even in dire circumstances; or more descriptively, especially in dire circumstances. Our world desperately needs good cheer. People are at war, alienated, fearful, hostile. People are cynical, dismissive, disruptive; often unwilling to hear another side of the story. We have ample opportunities in this world of knee-jerk reactions to be bringers of good cheer. A kind word. A good deed. And in so doing, we too will be refreshed. Refreshment-bringers are diligent. They don’t give up quickly. They are not easily intimidated. They are people on a mission from God. Who do you know that could use a refreshing cup of cold water? Are you willing to search hard for them?