Sometimes we need a little help. Sometimes there is something we need that we cannot do for ourselves. Paul ran into this once he had been ousted from Thessaloniki. He had been “run out of Dodge” so to speak, because some of the Jewish leaders didn’t like the new take on the faith he was teaching – that Jesus was the long awaited for messiah. Once he reached Athens, he was beside himself with worry about the new Christians in Thessaloniki. I’m sure it didn’t help Paul to be in Athens, a city built as was a monument to Greek deities and pagan worship. What if the new Christians were persecuted for their faith and slipped away from Christ??? Here’s how Paul puts it in his letter to the Thessalonians:
I Thess. 3: 1 When we could bear it no longer, we decided to be left alone in Athens; 2 and we sent Timothy, our brother and co-worker for God in proclaiming the gospel of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you for the sake of your faith, 3 so that no one would be shaken by these persecutions. …5 For this reason, when I could bear it no longer, I sent to find out about your faith; I was afraid that somehow the tempter had tempted you and that our labor had been in vain. 6 But Timothy has just now come to us from you, and has brought us the good news of your faith and love. He has told us also that you always remember us kindly and long to see us—just as we long to see you.
Paul needed help. He was in no position to return to Thessaloniki himself. In fact, had he returned his presence would probably have only stirred up the tensions and increased the persecutions. So he asked Timothy to go in his stead, to check in with the new Christians, to strengthen them in their faith and to give them his love. Timothy went and returned with good news about the faith and love of the new Christian community in Thessaloniki. They were well and strong in faith, and Paul was very much in their affections. Paul could rest easy again. He was so relieved!
Sometimes we need a little help. None of us can do everything well, that’s why God gave us families and friends and church family. I had such an instance just the other day. I am, admittedly, not very skilled with excel spreadsheets. (For those of you who don’t do computers, excel is a software for recording and managing numeric data. It is particularly useful with financial data.) I had a personal project I was working on and was in a mess trying to get excel to do what I wanted it to do. In frustration, I called a friend who created a new spreadsheet for me that did everything I needed and more. Sometimes we need a little help.
Some of us sing well. Some of us are good with words. Some of us are strong and can move heavy furniture around the house – not me. Some of us are good with numbers. Some of us know the Bible well. Some of us are sensitive to God’s Spirit moving among us. Some of us love well. Some of us inspire us to be better than we think we can be. Some of us are funny and make us laugh. The list can go on and on. God gave us each other to help each other. Sometimes we need help… and we should ask for it.
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