Military Life & the Gospel, Distance

Distance- so often it stands between us and what we grieve, between us and what we long to celebrate. We can’t make it home to the wedding we wanted to be at, or to squeeze our newest niece or nephew. We aren’t able to give the hugs of compassion, or bring the meals we wish we could, or sit with those whose world’s have fallen apart. And we wonder…what good am I as a friend? As a sister? As a daughter? when I can’t be where I’m needed?

Let us look to Paul as an example – so often restrained from being where he longed to be – in the presence of the people he loved. Yet he did not despair, knowing that his prayers for those people which he loved were being heard by the only One who could actually mend their hearts, the One who loved them more then he did, the One whose heart rejoiced over them more than a friend ever could – God was with them. And so he prayed for his friends.

He thanked God for their faith (Romans 1)

He prayed for strength (1 Corinthians 1)

He prayed for their comfort and endurance (1 Corinthians 2)

He prayed for them to have wisdom and understanding, that the eyes of their hearts would be enlightened to the hope of Gods calling and the wealth of their inheritance in in Christ

He prayed that their love for God would continue to grow. He prayed for discernment (Philippians 1)

He prayed that they would be filled with wisdom and understanding, that they would be strengthened, that they would have endurance, patience, joyful thankfulness to God for his rescue and salvation (Colossians 1)

He recalled the work God did in their lives and reminded them of it (I Thessalonians)

He thanked God for their faith and love for one another in his absence (2 Thessalonians)

He remembered and prayed for them day and night, longing to see them (2 Timothy 1)

He thanked God for them and prayed that their lives would be an effective witness to others.

The good news of the gospel for Paul – and for us – is that although he never stopped longing to be with those he loved – he could trust the One who was.

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