Refreshing People

William C. Brownson

Read: 2 Timothy 1:15-18

May the Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, for he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains, but when he arrived in Rome he searched for me earnestly and found me . . . and you well know all the service he rendered at Ephesus. (vv. 16-18)

What a heartbreak for Paul! He has just written that “all who are in Asia turned away from me” (v. 15). This means the city of Ephesus, too, where he had labored prodigiously for years and seen much fruit. Now in his imprisonment, he can scarcely count one of these residents of the Roman province of Asia as a friend.

But a bright spot for him was the ministry of Onesiphorus. His name means “bringer of profit,” and he surely was that for Paul. The apostle writes, “He often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains.” Apparently Onesiphorus had made frequent visits to the apostle. He was never ashamed to be known as a prisoner’s friend. I know a father who never visits his son who is an inmate in a nearby prison. He is too ashamed. But Onesiphorus was different. He not only visited Paul; he often refreshed him.

You know refreshing people. They pick you up when you’re down. Their coming is like a whiff of fresh air. They put new heart in you. They are the ones who trust in Jesus. From within their hearts “flow rivers of living water” (John 7:38). —Bill Brownson

As you pray, thank God for his refreshing servants. Ask God to help you be a refreshing servant to someone today.