This is part of an ongoing series during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. To engage further in the #QuarantineSoulCare series, click here.
Like wind and rain that erodes rock little by little, daily life exacts a toll. Resources are depleted. Buffers wear thin. Slights, once brushed off, laid aside to press on with the tasks at hand, now sting deeply as life closed in.
I see this as the apostle Paul expressed his greatest hurts and disappointments in his second letter to Timothy. … As the end neared, Paul reminded Timothy—and, I think, himself—to be kind and not resentful in life’s bitter times. …
Suffering comes to all people because we live in a fallen world. The Son of God left heaven’s perfection to live in this place of suffering for my sake. He suffered for sins not His own. I will (in a far inferior sense) suffer the consequence of others’ sins as well as my own. …
Paul did not cave in to hurt and disappointment. He did not withdraw to nurse resentment. Instead, he wrote a letter to encourage a young pastor to guard the gospel, to be kind and not resentful, to endure hardship as a good soldier of Christ (see 2 Timothy 2:3). This outward gaze, entrusting oneself to the Father’s loving care and seeking to do good, is an antidote to bitterness.
When I was beleaguered and bitter, totally consumed by envy, I was totally ignorant, a dumb ox in your very presence. I’m still in your presence, but you’ve taken my hand. You wisely and tenderly lead me, and then you bless me.
–Psalm 73:21-24, The Message