Today I started attending a Bible study at my church. It’s been ten years since I’ve been a part of a group study like this. It felt great to be back after so many years.
There was a day I would attend two to four Bible studies a week. That went on for the first dozen years after I committed my life to Christ. Then I went to grad school so I had to pour my time and energy into that world.
It occurred to me this summer that I spend a lot of time with clients and with friends on social media. What I needed was more time with real people where we could get to know each other at more than surface level. How grateful I was to see Beth Moore’s newest study, Children of the Day being offered on a day and time when I could attend. The study covers I & II Thessalonians.
Today, at our first study, we learned the back-story of how Paul, Silvanus “Silas”, and Timothy came together.
At one time Paul had been tethered to his buddy Barnabas (Acts 9:26,27). But something happened and it must have been bad; so bad that Mark took Barnabas and they “sailed away.” Acts 15:39 says the relationship was severed. Beth explained the Greek word paroxusmos, which is related to the English word “paroxsym.”
It means a sharp disagreement to the point of blows! Something incited their relationship and it was suddenly over.
Maybe you’ve been part of a friendship, community, or church that ended up like this. I know I have and it’s painful!
But here’s where it gets good . . .
It was in this painful gap that Silas (Silvanus) entered into relationship with Paul. And then Timothy came along. In fact, Paul said he had never met a kindred spirit like Timothy. The three men traveled to Thessalonica.
Do you see what God did? He ended one relationship but gave Paul two new ones.
He divided and then multiplied. Our God is good like that.
Beth’s point was that sometimes we cling to toxic painful situations, not wanting them to end, but the next person we meet could become one of the dearest people in our lives!
Paul was hoping to do a repeat journey with Barnabas, where he knew what to expect, instead of stepping into a new adventure with new people.
But something forced the issue and what Paul hoped for was not to be.
God is continually rearranging relationships in what Beth termed “a remix.”
Are you clinging to a relationship that you know is no longer the same as it once was?
Are you afraid to let go of a familiar situation?
Are the people in your life causing you to be sick and stressed?
Have they stopped being fun and good for you?
Instead of clutching so tightly that God has to drop a stick of dynamite into the relationship, like he did with Paul and Barnabas, why not see what new places God wants to take you.
Can you think of a time when God ended one part of your life and started a brand new other?
Lucille Zimmerman is a Licensed Professional Counselor with a private practice in Littleton, CO and an affiliate faculty teacher at Colorado Christian University.
She is also the author of Renewed: Finding Your Inner Happy in an Overwhelmed World. Through practical ideas and relatable anecdotes, readers can better understand their strengths and their passions—and address some of the underlying struggles or hurts that make them want to keep busy or minister to others to the detriment of themselves. Renewed can help nurture those areas of women’s lives to use them better for work, family, and service. It gives readers permission to examine where they spend their energy and time, and learn to set limits and listen to “that inner voice."