Have you ever been asked what Bible character you can identify with? Have you chosen Daniel, Esther, David, Martha or Paul? Well, I can identify with Trophimus. You don't know him? Neither did I until I read of his fascinating story—all six words of it! Let me tell you how it happened.
Sabbath morning is a time of fellowship worship and Praise to God—right? That's what I wanted to do. My minister husband was having a special music program. I like music and I was going to sing in the program and despite my nervousness I like singing. Instead, I was home by myself and I was not singing. I was mumbling and grumbling.
Bed rest was not new to me. I have my own pet virus that from time to time over the years has pulled me down and made bed rest a must. The doctor who finally recognized it, said it was a rare syndrome. What distinction to be rare! This morning such was not comforting. I wanted to be normal. I wanted to be cured. Therein lay the source of my grumbling. I knew someone who could cure all disease, but He had not cured me. I had asked Him often and my arguments were sound: I could be a greater help to my husband, a better mother, a more useful worker for Him. So why not? I also knew the intellectual answer. God knew and He knows best.
However, I had read about all the miraculous healings that Jesus performed and later the disciples and apostle Paul. I could not help asking; "Why not me?" I won't admit to how long I wallowed in the poorlittle-me puddle as I talked to God that morning. Finally, I let a little whisper of Him get through to me. Shame replaced the defiance and grumbling. Like a repentant child asking for comfort I asked God if He could not give me some word of encouragement, some answer to the pain that was in my body and even more, that stronger pain in my heart.
The open-your-Bible-at-random is not the best or most logical method of Bible study but I wasn't exactly in logical mode. I did at least bias my opening toward the New Testament because I realized I would have less chance of getting a passage about judgement on Jerusalem, prophecies against Edom, Cush, etc. or genealogies of this King or that. When I opened my study Bible I gave a slightly bitter laugh. One side of the page was study notes for the next book. The left hand side had about three verses. Those bits at the end of Paul's letters where he sends greetings. But one must give prayer a proper chance. So I read the three verses and there was the story of Trophimus. 2 Timothy 4:20 (2nd half) "and I left Trophimus sick in Miletus." Now wait a minute. Paul was one of those with quite a gift of healing. What was he doing leaving Trophimus sick in a little seaport a good fifty miles away from his home?' From what Paul has been saying in Chapter 4, he could have done with some companionship. So why didn't he heal Trophimus? We do not know. Nothing inore is said of Trophimus. But I do know that God guided me to Trophimus' story to tell me gently I was not forgotten or even neglected. He does not always cure every ill even when it seems to make sense to do so. But he is always there with Trophimus in Miletus and with me home in bed on Sabbath.
When we all get to heaven and sickness is no more; when people are lining up to talk to Moses, David, Daniel and Paul, I will find a quieter corner and tell Trophimus how his story helped me. Won't he be surprised?