Years ago a kind woman took me to lunch. I was new to the area, and she had reached out to me in friendship. We had a fun time just chatting, enjoying lunch and getting to know one another better. I was truly refreshed by our time together. The next day I sent her a card thanking her for being a Onesiphorus (On-ee-sif-or-us) to me, for this man had “oft refreshed” Paul.
The Lord give mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus; for he oft refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain: II Timothy 1:16
My kind friend came up to me after receiving my card and asked,
“Who is “Onesie for us?!”
I explained to her that he was a friend of Paul’s, who had been a blessing, and refreshed his spirit in the ministry. We both had a good laugh over the misunderstanding.
But you know, she really wasn’t too far off base with her mispronunciation! How does a person encourage and refresh another? They show by their actions, words and prayers that they are one person who is all for us! It’s like having your own personal cheerleader!
I’ve been on the receiving end many times of people who have refreshed me! I understand what Paul is talking about! Life in general can be so disheartening, can’t it? Ministry can also be so overwhelming that a person can feel like they’re drowning while trying to meet the needs of others. We could all use a cheerleader from time to time! It’s often easy to get so focused in on our own needs that we fail to see that others could use some cheering up, but how does that happen?
Here are some ways that you can refresh others and be their “Onesie-for-us!”:
- Stop to ask about a burden they are carrying.
- Write a note to tell them you are praying for them.
- Stop and pray with them about the burden.
- Stop in for a brief visit.
- Send a text or email with encouraging Scripture.
- Drop by a little treat you know they’ll love – a candy bar, their favorite kind of apple, or beverage.
- Ask if you can ____________. Ask specifically. Can I bring supper? Can I watch your children? Can I come clean your house?
- Invite them out – lunch, coffee, over for a meal.
I got that list from a list of my “Onesiphorus friends” who have refreshed me over and over again! I have to ask the Lord to turn my attention away from myself to others to see their needs. I feel I fail so often, but I do desire to be a Onesie -For- Us! How about you?
What do others do for you to cheer you on in your Christian life?