Power, Love, and Sound Mind
2 Timothy 1:5-NKJV
From the Jar
As the Apostle Paul wrote his second letter to his young protege Timothy, he poured out to him words that would help carry the young man after Paul was gone.
We don’t know for certain that Paul knew the end was near, but I believe the Spirit of God had prepared and was preparing Paul for what was to come.
At least in my life, that’s been the case.
Every time we went to a new church I could see that God had been preparing us to minister to those people. In addition to that, God was preparing people there to care for us.
When we went to our new church in 1985 I was very afraid and anxious about living so far away from my parents. Even though I was grown and had four children of my own, my parents continued to help and sustain us.
I know God had prepared me for the move, but it was still a shock. It seems strange now but knowing I would be living five hours away from my parents was frightening at the time. While I depended on my Mom for help and tips with cooking, cleaning, and children, I depended on my dad for emotional support.
I depended on him a lot.
That’s because he was dependable.
I was 32 years old when we moved several hours away from the city I where I was born and raised. I vowed that I would return there as soon as I was able.
I’ve never returned. It’s not that I didn’t (don’t) want to…it’s just that the opportunity hasn’t presented itself for me to return to Chief’s country.
As soon as we made the move I realized how very much I had depended on my dad. As much as it may shock some, in 1985 we didn’t have easy access to cellular phones and long distance calls were not part of our budget. The church where we served was part-time and we had another full-time salary. Now we were solely dependent on the church’s salary and I had a two year old at home. As soon as I could find work I started baby-sitting during the day, but money was still tight.
Suddenly I realized when I had a problem I couldn’t just call my dad for advise and wisdom. It turned out that was a blessing in disguise.
Not too long after we moved five hours away, my dad became ill. He had cancer in his bladder.
In 1986 cancer treatment wasn’t what it is now.
Certain kinds of cancer spread quickly and there was no treatment. His cancer spread to his liver. Once we found out the cancer had spread, it spread very quickly.
He was gone in a matter of months.
In 2 Timothy 1:5 we learn that, “I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well.”
Timothy’s Mother and Grandmother were Hebrew. his father was Greek, so Paul was reminding his young friend Timothy of the faith his Mother and Grandmother shared with him as he grew.
Paul knew even though Timothy had a good start toward a sincere faith, it would be good to remind him to hold onto those early values.
In 2 Timothy 1:6 Paul told young Timothy, “I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands,”
Paul had been with Timothy and he had prayed for him. The Apostle Paul laid hands on him. Paul knew Timothy was called to carry on the faith and through their time together and his correspondences, he continued to mentor Timothy.
In 2 Timothy 1:7 Paul spoke strong words to Timothy when he said, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
Paul was reminding him do not be afraid.
He was telling Timothy God had given him (and us) power.
The same is true for us/you. You are a child of God and Jesus loves you.
BE of sound mind.
I envision Timothy reading and re-reading communications sent to him by Paul. Every word was carefully chosen. Timothy knew that Paul was a man of few words and every word served a purpose.
After my dad was gone I wasn’t sure how I would survive the future without him.
It took time (one day at a time), but I did grow up. God was with me. Looking back, I knew my dad spoke specific prayers for me before he went to be with Jesus.
I grieved, but in time I started to remember things my dad told me. He had poured himself into me, helping to prepare me for ministry. Every word he spoke to me helped me move forward.
My children were 11-4 years old when their grandpa passed away.
The older three were 11, 9, and 8 years old and they remembered things he’d said and done with them. Eventually, from time to time I would hear them tell their young brother things about his grandpa.
We all remembered advise he gave us. I still remember today (35 years later) things he told me. I realized last year I had lived as many years without my dad as I’d lived with him.
I believe his prayers help me to fan into flame the gift of God.
I remembered my dad telling me not to be afraid. He told me the Spirit of God would BE with me and would give power and love. While my dad didn’t actually say, be of sound mind, he did stop me occasionally, make eye contact, and say, “think about it”.
Now, quite organically when I need to figure something out, I stop and said to myself, “think about it”.
Think about what I’ve told you.
Remember what I said.
Embrace what you’ve been given.
That’s what Paul wanted Timothy to do.
Today’s Spiritual Practice is: Think, Remember, Embrace
Remember the people in your life who had a role In mentoring you. Think and remember what they said. Embrace the time you spent with them. It’s a great gift.
In God, Deborah