COME BEFORE WINTER
(Feel free to listen while you’re reading.)
YOU ARE MY SHELTER by Elisha’s Request
I received this devotional from a good missionary friend of mine the other day, and it suddenly seems relevant to the discussion at hand. Please take the time to read it, and apply as necessary.
Come Before Winter
“Be diligent to come to me quickly; for Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world, and has departed for Thessalonica-Crescens for Galatia, Titus for Dalmatia.” 2 Timothy 4:9,10
“Come before winter.” These words have been rehearsing in my heart and spirit for weeks now. When Paul penned these words he was in prison. The cold chill of abandonment was upon him. He recounts how he was deserted in his faithful quest to preach the Gospel. Those who had been with him in the journey, those trusted friends had abandoned him. So his plea is to his most faithful disciple: “Come quickly and come before winter.” He needed his cloak and he needed his parchments. His time was short, death was drawing near.
I wonder if you and I can identify with Paul’s sentiments? No, we aren’t in a damp, cold and dark prison. Not in a natural sense. But there are many prisons. Some of us have been hurt severely by those we trusted most. And if we aren’t careful the winter of the heart can set in. It’s the season of the heart when it gets bitter cold. The sunshine becomes dimmer and dimmer. All the love and passion you have grown in your heart could be frosted over. And once that happens death isn’t far off. Does this seem extreme to you? It doesn’t to me. I have seen the face of bitterness on loved ones. I have also seen it in the mirror. It has a look all its own. It’s tense and hard and its poison springs forth in very short notice. It also cripples the person under its curse.
If anyone could have been victim to the winter of the heart it was Paul. Yet Paul knew the cure. Even with death at his door literally Paul chose to move forward. He encouraged Timothy and the church. He pleads with Timothy not to forget the gift the Lord has given him. Next he decides to allow the Lord to judge those who hurt him. He knew that only the Lord is the perfect judge of the heart of man. He asks that this abandonment not be held against them. Lastly, he proclaims faith in God’s goodness toward him. He knows that the Lord will strengthen him and preserve him for His Heavenly Kingdom.
Perhaps you are in the spring season of the heart. All that springs forth is good and loving and delightful. Please be mindful of those around you. If you see a brother or sister in pain take time to pray for them. Pray that the Holy Spirit will come quickly for them. Pray that He guards their heart from the cancer of bitterness. Pray He comes before winter. Paul asked for his cloak. We can ask that the Lord cover those we love with His cloak of love and righteousness. Only His covering will protect their hearts.
Father, guard our hearts from anything that is not of you.
Written By: Laurie L. Ferris