Do your best to come to me quickly, for Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me and has gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, and Titus to Dalmatia. 2 Timothy 4:9-10 (NIV).
Here are a few more realistic, matter-of-fact verses that give credibility to Paul’s account. Paul was asking Timothy to come quickly to his aid because Paul knew his death would be soon. At the end of his ministry, the apostle felt deserted because some of those whom he had trusted to partner with in that ministry were gone. Demas, who was also mentioned in Colossians, had fallen away from Paul’s work, and had gone to Greece. Crescens is mentioned in Scripture only here. While we don’t know whether or not he and Paul parted on bad terms, we do know he was away. And Titus, to whom Paul would write another New Testament letter, had also left. Because of that book of Titus, it’s unlikely that he and Paul had a falling-out.
Sometimes people are in our lives for a season; other times they’re in our lives for a reason.
No matter the season or reason, Paul was mostly alone and lonesome. Have you ever felt that way?
I grew up that way. We moved around a lot when I was a kid because my Dad worked for the Army. We’d live someplace for a few years and then move to a new place. We’d be there just long enough to make some friends and then leave them. One summer, I felt especially lonely after moving back to Iowa. I been able to re-connect with friends I had known before, and felt abandoned by my friends from other places. Kids don’t write letters, this was before cell phones, and long-distance phone calls weren’t cheap.
So I can identify with how Paul must have felt here; perhaps you can too. Perhaps there has been a time in your life when you were (or at least felt) abandoned by the people you counted on most. Perhaps you’re in that season of life now.
You know what’s coming: we’re never alone. Paul was never really alone because Jesus was with him. I was never really alone during that long Iowa summer because Jesus was with me. You’re not alone now, even when the wolves howl outside, because Jesus is with us.
“Some consolation that is,” you might be thinking. “I can’t see, feel, or sense Jesus here.” Yet He’s here all the same. He closes your eyes at night and keeps watch by your bedside. He feels your loneliness when you feel abandoned. He cries inside when you do. He’s real because you’re real, because He promised to always be with us, even to the end of the age.
For further reading: Titus 3:12, Colossians 4:14, 2 Corinthians 2:13, Matthew 28:20, 2 Timothy 4:11
In season and reason, You are with me now, Lord Jesus. I’m asking for Your comfort and help.