Alexander the coppersmith has done me (Paul) much harm. The Lord will punish him, but be careful of him, for he fought against everything we said.

The first time I was brought before the judge no one was here to help me. Everyone had run away. I hope that they will not be blamed for it. But the Lord stood with me and gave me the opportunity to boldly preach a whole sermon for all the world to hear. And he saved me from being thrown to the lions. Yes, and the Lord will always deliver me from all evil and will bring me into his heavenly Kingdom. To God be the glory forever and ever. Amen. 2 Timothy 4: 14-18 (TLB)

Vimbai Chizarura is from Mashonaland East, Zimbabwe. Vimbai moved every chair near her in the conference room, but her handbag was not where she had left it. Her heart raced as she walked through the rows of chairs. She finally found her handbag shoved under a chair in the last row, wide open. Her two wallets had been stolen. She told some of the leaders and ushers at the event. Vimbai could not believe this was happening to her.

As people commented on her situation, Vimbai started blaming herself for not being careful enough. No one seemed to understand how hard it was for Vimbai to come to terms with the fact that her wallets were gone. But some people, like her friend Michelle and her mom, were compassionate and assisted Vimbai financially. As Paul wrote to Timothy, "The Lord stood at my side and gave me strength" (2 Tim. 4:17). God's presence was especially comforting when she was alone and thinking about the unfortunate event that had happened to her.

As she continued to meditate on Paul's words, Vimbai managed to recover and trust in God's power to restore. Sometimes no one understands what we are going through, but we can rest assured that the Lord will stand by us always and give us the strength we need.

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for standing by us and giving us strength, in Jesus' name. Amen

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