Emily Manginelli
Emily Manginelli

My favorite book to teach in our church’s Bible school is 2 Timothy. There is something about an abandoned Paul, cold and alone, that moves me to tears as I read his reflections on pastoral ministry and his affection for Jesus.

I believe Paul was harkening back to 2 Timothy 2:1-7 as he finished his exhortation to Timothy to “do the work of an evangelist” (2 Tim. 4:5, NKJV).

  • A good soldier suffers, and Paul had fought the good fight (vv.3-4).
  • An athlete competes according to the rules, and Paul had finished the race (v.5).
  • A farmer receives the first fruits of his crops, and Paul had kept the faith (v.6).

Many of us see how “fighting” and “running” can be the work of an evangelist. Often there are tangible, immediate results, and we can look back at our own efforts and see how hard we worked to spread the kingdom.

But there is something about “keeping the faith” that Paul would call the victory of a farmer.

This year, may we be pastors who believe that waiting for the seeds we have planted to bring forth fruit is part of our attainment, even if it takes our whole lives.

Prayer + Reflection

  • Where in your life do you see waiting as a failure instead of as the faithful work of an evangelist? Confess those examples to God.
  • If you were approaching death while still waiting for seeds of evangelism to sprout, would you still have faith that God would grow a crop? Ask God for more faith.
  • How does waiting intersect with the full gospel as we wait for healings, salvations, baptisms and Jesus as our Soon-Coming King?

is the associate pastor of The Square (Smyrna 2 Foursquare Church) in Smyrna, Ga.


  1. I have been waiting for many years for my cousin Max to come to know Jesus we can’t even get him to get near a Church, we keep praying and talking about Jesus in front of him. I believe he thinks we are crazy to have faith in an invisible God. But I know in Gods perfect timing he will believe.

    1. God will answer ! I waited 24 years for my homeless brother that God would restore him. I didn’t give my brother totally until God said enough and I finally stopped and gave my brother totally to God. It was then I finally found peace. We want to hold on but it’s not our job. God hears your prayers and will deliver.

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