We know from history that the Apostle Paul ended his ministry in Rome. He was sent there after appealing to Caesar about the case brought against him by the Jewish religious leaders. From his writing, we get the impression that Paul was lonely. “Demas, in love with this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia. Luke alone is with me … Tychicus I have sent to Ephesus” (2 Timothy 4:10-12).
Of course, Paul surely still has other friends in the area. But the people he named were his comrades, his close associates. Paul mentioned several, but only Luke was still with him. He even told Timothy to come to him and to bring Mark along—“Get Mark and bring him with you” (vs. 11).
Have you ever felt abandoned? Do you ever have the sense that you’ve been left on your own?
For Paul, a bit further on, it seems to have gotten worse. “At my first defense no one came to stand by me, but all deserted me” ” (2 Timothy 4:16). Apparently the first time he stood before Caesar, no one went with him. That must have felt like he was really alone.
Yet, that’s not the end of the story. “But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me…” (2 Timothy 4:17). God Himself has promised us, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5). Even if all those closest to you abandon you, the Lord will still be with you. “Even if my father and mother abandon me, the Lord will hold me close” (Psalm 27:10, NLT).