9 Make every effort to come to me soon; 10 for Demas, having loved this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica … (2 Timothy 4).

Have you ever been “deserted” (“abandoned” or “forsaken”) by anyone? From my experience, this is by far one of the worst feelings ever. The only consolation is similar to what Paul says here: that it was because they “loved this present world.” For you see, in the end I know it was not so much me that they rejected, but Christ in me, and my devotion to Him.

And yet, Paul’s experience was worse than mine, because Demas had once been a “co-worker” with him (Philemon 1:24), and someone worthy to be mentioned even along with the likes of Luke in sending their greetings to the Colossians (4:14). Paul’s experience was closer to our Lord’s, whose disciples deserted, abandoned, and forsook Him. Surely Paul’s consolation was a fulfillment of what he wrote to the Philippians in 3:10, as he learned something of “the fellowship of His sufferings.”

Lord, we thank You for any fellowship of suffering we can experience with Christ. Help us This Day, should it be to suffer desertion or abandonment because of our faith, that we remain true and steadfast to You. Amen.