16 The Lord grant mercy to the house of Onesiphorus, for he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains; 17 but when he was in Rome, he eagerly searched for me and found me— 18 the Lord grant to him to find mercy from the Lord on that day—and you know very well what services he rendered at Ephesus (2 Timothy 1).
There were many days in Ephesus when Onesiphorus served Paul and the church for the sake of Christ. There were also those days in Rome when he “eagerly searched” for and found Paul in prison, even while others had already left him out of fear and shame as followers of Christ.
Because of those faithful days in Ephesus and Rome, Paul prayed that “on that day” Onesiphorus would “find mercy from the Lord.” Was “that day” the day of final judgment? I do not think so, for prayers for such a day were not required. No, the “that day” Paul was offering prayers for probably was the day of his own persecution and testing that would come. And, according to tradition, “that day” did finally come in the city of Parium (not far from Ephesus), where he died a martyr’s death. No doubt, he did indeed find that special mercy from the Lord to die well.
Lord, help us This Day to live well, that we may one day die well. Amen.