But since we were torn away from you, brothers, for a short time, in person not in heart, we endeavored the more eagerly and with great desire to see you face to face, because we wanted to come to you-I, Paul, again and again-but Satan hindered us. For what is our hope or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at his coming? Is it not you? For you are our glory and joy.
Therefore when we could bear it no longer, we were willing to be left behind at Athens alone, and we sent Timothy, our brother and God’s coworker in the gospel of Christ, to establish and exhort you in your faith, that no one be moved by these afflictions. For you, yourselves know that we are destined for this. For when we were with you, we kept telling you beforehand that we were to suffer affliction, just as it has come to pass, and just as you know. For this reason, when I could bear it no longer, I sent to learn about your faith, for fear that somehow the tempter had tempted you and our labor would be in vain.1 Thessalonians 2:17-20, 3:1-5
A few weeks ago, I decided to start something new by going with something old. Now that our oldest grandson, Tucker, is older and is learning to read, I am now writing notes to the boys. Sure, we enjoy the occasional FaceTime or call, but I think they enjoy receiving and reading the notes.
I think the Apostle Paul would have enjoyed the technology of Facebook to see how the believers in Thessalonica were progressing in the Faith. He would have used Skype or FaceTime to fill his “great desire to see (them) face to face…”. But I am grateful we have the letters he wrote so that we can be encouraged in our faith today.
Paul describes the Thessalonians as his “glory and joy”. His desire to know what was going on in their lives reached a point where he could ” bear it no longer”.
Think of one person or one group of people that stir up the same type of emotions in your life. Now, how about taking a minute to write an email, make a phone call or write an old fashioned letter.
You may be a source of encouragement for someone who needs it today.