The Remembrance

“The Lord grant mercy to the house of Onesiphorus, for he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains; but he was in Rome, he eagerly searched for me – 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 1:16-18
Bob Hope was not a flawless a man, but he remains a well remembered man for his tireless efforts to entertain soldiers in need of hope. He had a theme song played at the closing of his shows. He would croon along with the tune as it carried the sentimental refrain, “Thanks for the Memories.”
From WW2 through the Cold War, from the tropics to the arctic, when soldiers needed Hope, he was there. Entertaining troops in faraway jungles or on stage in one of the great cities of the world, Hope’s theme song sealed the bond between him and his audience. As the stage lights dimmed and the sounds of the orchestra faded into silence, Hope left the stage, but hope prevailed.. Thanks for the memories, indeed.
Solders aren’t the only ones who have remembered people who have been there for them when they needed them most. Paul recalled his loyal friends and remembered them in prayer. So should you.  
The undying memory of the blessing of dear friends is one of The Father’s greatest gifts to His children. Remembering past blessings is the gift that keeps on giving. Recalling the blessing of good friends never grows old, and thanking The Father for them carries no expiration date.
“You are aware of the fact that all who are in Asia turned away from me, among whom are Phylegus and Hermogenes.” 2 Timothy 1:15
The memory of a faithful friend is often made sweeter within the context of another’s betrayal. On a regular basis, Paul was a victim of “friendly fire.” He recalled with great joy the loyalty of Onesiphorus, but he still carried the scars of those who had wounded him. One can only speculate and trust Paul had forgiven them, but the Scripture records he had not forgotten them. Great memories can be refreshed repeatedly, but painful ones are rarely removed completely. At least, not in Paul’s case.
Paul wisely chose to dwell on the memory of the blessing of a true friend, rather than be distracted by the curse of two false friends.  He recalled the refreshing experiences of Onesiphorus, when the draining influence of two false friends threatened to suck the joy out of his life.
“He often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains.”
Betrayal, like a bone in Paul’s throat, didn’t ever quite go away, but Paul refused to choke on it. When it came to fish and betrayal, he learned in both cases he could eat the meat and spit out the bones. He gained strength by swallowing the former, and spitting out the latter. The taste may have been bitter, but Paul prayed and stayed away from bitterness.
Paul took great comfort in and expressed his gratitude for the memory of his deceased friend. He had not only supplied Paul’s physical needs, but he had identified with Paul’s emotional needs. His friend did not just “write a check.” He showed up. He gave of his means, but he also gave his heart. Paul never forgot the double blessing and prayed his friend would be rewarded for his generosity and his loyalty at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
NOTE TO SELF: Healthy remembrances lead you to pray and thank The Father for those who have blessed you. Praying will not cause you to completely forget those who have betrayed you, but it will keep you from going postal over them. When you are served a bitter tasting meal from a false friend, you can draw strength from it by eating the meat and spitting out the bones. Remember well by thanking God often for loyal friends who have been generous to you and stood with you, during the storms of life. Pray for them more than you talk about those who failed you on both counts. Take hope. You will be refreshed and they will be rewarded. TALK LESS! PRAY MORE!