Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy to the Church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:
grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
We ought to thank God always for you, brothers and sisters,
as is fitting, because your faith flourishes ever more,
and the love of every one of you for one another grows ever greater.
Accordingly, we ourselves boast of you in the churches of God
regarding your endurance and faith in all your persecutions
and the afflictions you endure.
This is evidence of the just judgment of God,
so that you may be considered worthy of the Kingdom of God
for which you are suffering.
We always pray for you,
that our God may make you worthy of his calling
and powerfully bring to fulfillment every good purpose
and every effort of faith,
that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you,
and you in him,
in accord with the grace of our God and Lord Jesus Christ. ~ 2 Thessalonians 1: 1-5, 11-12
From Friday of the old week, knowing that I have to return to work today, I have been dreading the passing hours that flit by my train of life, taking me closer and closer to the bitter Cross. For ten days, the angel fed me manna from heaven, nourishing me, strengthening me for the long walk ahead. For ten days, I listened daily to the birds knit their melodies through the mourns of the wild, grey winds and the white~gold lances of merry sunshine. Keeping the pale rosebuds company as they shyly parted their pink lips to the waiting breezes, I spun my sonnets of praise and thanksgiving for every gift, great and little, from God Almighty.
For ten beautiful days.
But as the spectre of the working week loomed before me, I faltered. Many a time, in the deeps of thanks~living, I caught myself fearfully scanning the horizon for the dark cloud that was nearing. So great was my reluctance and sadness to be returning to the demons’ roost.
Exactly two years ago, 2 Thessalonians 1 came to comfort me at a time when I wasn’t sure if I was on the right path, or even if I was walking my chosen path correctly. It came to me at a time when I felt I was falling more often than I was making progress. And that day when I read it, for the first time I felt as if the saints had written to me. It was deeply uplifting to actually learn that I was doing alright, that heaven was pleased with my efforts – even if I was in doubt. And this joy gave me strength for the many times ahead when sadness and difficulty bit hard into my days.
Today, in the still, purple hours of dawn, seeking my Lord’s hand to stave off fear, the old flower bloomed once more. As the Blue King raised his call with the silver~pink mists, I once again read 2 Thessalonians 1.
But this time, the dawn fell on different words.
We always pray for you ~ 2 Thes. 1: 11
The words from thousands of years ago cross the abysses of time and doubt. With a single touch, they part the briar of fear that encircles my heart.
We always pray for you.
Love of saints. Old yet faithful, they come to bid me remember, once more, that I am not alone.