“So when we could stand it no longer, we thought it best to be left by ourselves in Athens. We sent Timothy, who is our brother and God’s fellow worker in spreading the gospel of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you in your faith, so that no one would be unsettled by these trials. You know quite well that we were destined for them.”
I Thessalonians 3: 1-3 (NIV)
This passage grabbed my attention today.
In particular what caused me to pause and allow Paul’s words to linger was the word settle. Or more accurately, the word unsettled.
You see, we use that word a lot in our home. Not with each other so much but it is spoken continually to our dog Hazel.
It is the word that we chose as a command to tell her to:
- calm down
- stop barking
- leave such and such alone
- stop creating such a fuss
- go and lay down
- affectionately to knock it off
I wonder if I realize how often God tells me to settle…to calm down…to stop my barking…or creating such a fuss…perhaps He would like me to just lay down and knock it off? Perhaps I am prone to give the Lord the look that Hazel gives me when I tell her to leave those ever mocking squirrels alone. You know those eyes…the ones that say…seriously?
Do I remember just like Paul told the Thessalonians that trials were their destiny? I don’t have to copy and paste the verses that declare that there will be trials.
I love the reminder to settle but I also appreciate that sometimes that may not be enough. Paul wanted to make sure that the Thessalonians were standing firm…exercising their faith despite opposition. He was willing to part with Timothy, one of his co-laborers, to strengthen and encourage these believers in their faith.
We need each other because quite frankly sometimes we are just going to be unsettled by life. I am so thankful for friends and family that speak words packed with vitality to me. It’s a bit like a verbal V-8.
This week I learned that sometimes encouragement can come when it isn’t even intended.
A dear friend of mine has had a dream…for a long time. This week, that dream came true. I am puffed up with joy for her…like more fluffy than my normal fluffy self. But I realized that I was joyous for me too. You see, she didn’t have to share her dream…and she didn’t even have to tell me that it was coming to fruition…but because she did…it helps me to believe…in dreams…to have hope…to walk in faith…that one day is not so far off.
We need to walk together…remind each other of the constancy and faithfulness of God…share the load…pack our bags and go where we are needed even if it means leaving the tasks at hand…we need to share our hurts and our dreams with one another…we need each other…I think it will help us to settle or not to become unsettled.
One final word, the KJV uses the word “disturbed” which the NIV translates as “unsettled”.
When I looked up this word in Strong’s…this is what I found…
|A-5||Verb||Strong’s Number: g4525||Greek: saino|
Move, Moved, Mover, Moving, Unmovable:
“properly, of dogs, “to wag the tail, fawn;” hence, metaphorically of persons, “to disturb, disquiet,” 1Th 3:3, Passive Voice, “(that no man) be moved (by these afflictions).”