But you . . .
But you have followed my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love, and endurance…
2 Timothy 3:10 (HCSB)
Sometimes it is the smallest of words, the tiniest breath of a phrase that hits like a truckload of bricks. This particular truth hit me, not like a load of bricks, but like the door in a dark room opening to the bright light of a brilliant day. It was blinding. It was beautiful. It was breathtaking.
Paul, teaching Timothy how to lead the church, warned the young apostle in 2 Timothy 3:1-9 of terrible days. He chronicled the last days with a list of sins that is painful to hear, especially when the list hits so close to home: boastful, ungrateful, unholy, slanderous, rash, conceited, without self-control. It gets worse: brutal, not lovers of good, treacherous, rash, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.
Then, in all that chaos and desperation, Paul says in verse 10, But you, [ Timothy] … The darkened door opened to the glorious light. But you, Timothy, have followed my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love and endurance. Continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of (vv. 10, 14).
I love how God is so big-picture. He sees the whole world with all the fury and confusion and trouble. But, he also sees you…in your home, with your family, with your specific challenges. He sees your efforts, your striving toward holiness. He hears your heart-cry and answers YOU. Isn’t that amazing and beautiful? Aren’t you glad that your Savior is personal…that he doesn’t just see you as part of the masses, but as an individual, precious in his sight?
Psalm 116 is David’s proclamation of this truth: I love the Lord, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy. Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live. Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the Lord has been good to you (v.1,2,7).
Thank you, Lord, for knowing me and calling me your own.