Demetrius—A friend in a storm.

Demetrius—A friend in a storm.

(3 John)

You know that inexplicable look that your best friend has on their face when they want to say something, but won’t? You have seen it. At that moment, silence, they felt, was best option for both parties. It was during times when you allowed too many frustrating people to fill your head with issues. For your friend to address your state of mind, they would have to fight against a swirling current of conflicting thoughts. You were in what is best described as ‘Siege mode.” Walls up, defenses manned, gates locked and barred—Even friends were viewed as potential enemies.The apostle John wrote to Gaius during a time when the church was overrun with the malicious intentions and evil deeds of Diotrephes. He had appointed himself leader and opposed anyone who saw him for what he was.John was not yet on the scene. He did promise to come and sort out the ungodly mess that was causing Gaius and the congregation such harm, but time and distance were factors still.Sometimes potential can best be seen from afar. During this time of crisis Gaius had a friend and ally close at hand, but apparently did not see it.John commends Demetrius as the antithesis of Diotrephes:“Demetrius has received a good testimony from everyone, and from the truth itself; and we testify too, and you know that our testimony is true” (3Jn.12).Here was a man who could be trusted to steady the ship during the storms of congregational life. When the apostle John, good brethren, and the truth itself speaks well of a man’s spiritual integrity, then it is time to accept that you are not alone in the good fight. Gaius knew this good brother. What he needed to do was to realise that God had put him in his midst to be that friend in the storm.To all of those brothers and sisters who have been there for you during your “siege-mode-moments,” you need to offer a prayer of thanks to the Lord for them.


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