Scholars question whether or not the Biblical book of II Timothy was written by the apostle Paul. Some believe portions of the book were, but have trouble separating out the authentic from the other, as the letter schools Timothy on working in a congregation.
Visiting with a family, after the death of a loved one, I have often turned to a passage in II Timothy, with words of hope and promise, “ I have fought the good fight; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith. From now on there is reserved for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have longed for his appearing.” II Timothy 4:7-8.
The last portion of the letter appears to be most authentic, in its poignancy. Paul is under house arrest. Some of his companions have deserted him, others were called away on missionary journeys. He warns the younger man to be wary of Alexander, who cannot be trusted. In his litany of sorrows, he says only Luke, the beloved physician, is with him. Paul asks for a cloak and parchments when Timothy visits.
He writes, “Do your best to come before winter.” II Timothy 4:21 One hears a deep longing for companionship, in that appeal. The yearning for a familiar voice, a treasured face and simply being in the presence of a cherished friend.
Friendship that transcends time and distance is a precious gift. Truly one to value and invest in.
Perhaps there a friend in your life, who needs you to “Come before winter?” As you are able, may it be so.