“Morning by morning, O Lord, you hear my voice”

Psalm 5:3

“Come Before Winter”

(Please read 2 Timothy 4:9-13, 21)

June 20

Two of the most renowned prisoners in history were Napoleon and the Apostle Paul. One was in prison because the world demanded it, the other because he sought to give people peace which the world cannot give. One had shed rivers of other men’s blood on which he tried to float his ambition; the other shed blood from his own wounds for Christ’s sake. Napoleon once said, “I love nobody, not even my own brothers,” and worried at the last that perhaps nobody loved him. Paul loved all people and sent out messages of love and hope from his prison in Rome.

One of the closest of Paul’s many friends was Timothy, and it was to him that Paul wrote the plea in our title. With determination to make the best of life to its very end, Paul asked Timothy to come to him and bring John Mark and certain things with him.

It was an urgent call; Paul asked Timothy to make every effort to come to him soon, before winter. Why before winter? Because that season made navigation of the Mediterranean Sea dangerous, if not impossible, and because Paul apparently expected to be executed before long (see 4:6).

We don’t know whether Timothy reached Paul in time, but it is pleasant to think he at least made the effort as Paul had requested.

Some things will never be done unless they are done “before winter”; many doors of opportunity will be closed forever by the “winter” of life. May the Lord help us to accomplish much for him before physical limitations curtail our energies, ambitions and activities.


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