Have you ever had a concern for someone that it occupies your mind night and day? Have you ever lost several nights of sleep because you cannot stop thinking or stop worrying about something? If you want to know what or whom someone cares about, you can simply look at what they pray about and over what they lose sleep.
Imagine parents who have just left Melbourne after sending their daughter to study in Australia for the first time. If the parents really cared for their daughter, they would try to contact her every week, if not every day. If possible, they would love to see her as often as they can. They would think about her and pray for her at nights. At times, they might even lose sleep when she is not doing well.
That’s exactly what Paul went through after he left Thessalonica. In his first letter to the Thessalonians, particularly at the end of chapter 2 to chapter 3, Paul’s heart for the young Christians in Thessalonica is unmistakably clear. Like a parent who loves his children very much, Paul longed to see them and to make sure they were doing well in the midst of the challenges they were facing.
Christians can learn a lot from the way Paul cared for the Thessalonians. By God’s grace, we can grow in our care for one another so as to encourage each other towards maturity in faith. Paul’s prayer at the end should be our prayer for one another too:
12 and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you, 13 so that he may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints. (1 Thessalonians 3:12–13)