But I think it is necessary to send back to you Epaphroditus, my brother, fellow worker and fellow soldier, who is also your messenger, whom you sent to take care of my needs. For he longs for all of you and is distressed because you heard he was ill. Indeed he was ill, and almost died. But God had mercy on him, and not on him only but also on me, to spare me sorrow upon sorrow. Therefore I am all the more eager to send him, so that when you see him again, you may be glad and I may have less anxiety. NIV
This morning, I woke up a little anxious. It occurred to me that I should look up “anxious” in my concordance to see what verses there might apply to my project or my situation. There are not a ton of verses in the NIV that deal with “anxious” or “anxiety.” Many of those verses, I already have covered over the last few months. And, looking at those entries in this blog, which I treat as my own prayer journal, was very helpful to me.
But, this verse is one that I had not yet looked at.
While this verse has nothing to do with my current situation, it is a beautiful reminder of one of the ways to alleviate worry … complete a task.
So often, when something is hanging over my head, it causes me to stress over it. If I will just turn in and complete it, then I am blessed with the relief that Paul mentions in this verse. The Message translates verse 28, “So you can see why I’m so delighted to send him on to you. When you see him again, hale and hearty, how you’ll rejoice and how relieved I’ll be.” MSG
I don’t know that much about Epaphroditus, except that it appears to me that he was a member of the church at Phillipi whom the Phillipians had sent to help Paul. The man served faithfully, and almost lost his life in the process. But now, his task has been completed, his health has been restored, and he is ready to go home to his friends and family. It appears to me that Paul has been very worried about the young man, and he will be relieved when Epaphroditus makes it back home safe and sound.
It is, if you will, “tying a big red bow” around the task that Epaphroditus set out to accomplish.
Today, I will focus on being thankful for the tasks that are completed. I will rejoice in the relief that comes from a job well done, instead of obsessing over all of the tasks that are before me.
That is a good thing to think about today!