A cowboy rode into town and stopped at a saloon for a drink.
Unfortunately, the locals had a habit of picking on strangers. So when he finished his drink, he found his horse had been stolen. He went back into the bar, handily flipped his gun into the air, caught it above his head and fired a shot into the ceiling. ”Which one of you sidewinders stole my hoss?” he yelled.
No one answered.
”All right, I’m gonna have anotha’ beer, and if my hoss ain’t back outside by the time I finish, I’m gonna do what I done in Texas! And I don’t like to have to do what I done in Texas!”
Some of the locals shifted restlessly. The cowboy had another beer, walked outside, and his horse was back! He saddled up and started to ride out of town.
The bartender wandered out of the bar and asked, ”Say partner, before you go. . .what happened in Texas?”
The cowboy turned back and said, ”I had to walk home.” (from http://www.emmitsburg.net/humor/archives/clean/clean_24.htm)
That cowboy was grateful for his horse. In a similar way Paul was grateful for the things he had in his life as he shared in Phil 4:10-17.
10For I rejoiced in the Lord greatly because you showed concern for me again regarding this you were concerned for me even though you had no chance to do something. 11Because I am not spreaking from need, for I have learned in these circumstances to be content. 12I know how to both live in lack and I know how to live in abundance. In every and all circumstances I have learned the secret to be both fully and hungry, to have abundance and lack. 13I am able to do all things through the one who strengthens me. 14Nevertheless, you did right by staying connected with me in my troubles. 15As you Philippians already know, in the beginning of the Gospel when I left Macedonia, no one from any church gave to me in this matter of giving and receiving, except you. 16For even in Thessalonica you sent help to me in my lack on several occasions. 17Not that I seek a gift, but I want the fruit which increases your message. Phil 4:10-17
I. PAUL’S GRATITUDE (4:10)
10For I rejoiced in the Lord greatly because you showed concern for me again regarding this you were concerned for me even though you had no chance to do something.
A. Ἐχάρην δὲ ἐν κυρίῳ μεγάλως ὅτι ἤδη ποτὲ ἀνεθάλετε τὸ ὑπὲρ ἐμοῦ φρονεῖν, — For I rejoiced in the Lord greatly because you showed concern for me again
The Greek verb, ἀναθαλετε (ἀναθαλλω), is a rare word only used here in the New Testament. In my translation I have chosen to translate it as “again” (as well as the NLT). However, other translations use “renewed” (HCSB, NIV) or “revived” (ASV, ESV, NASB, NRSV). It is used elsewhere to describe a bush or tree putting out fresh shoots or flowers in the spring. With that in mind, Paul is painting a picture of the Philippians’ care for him blossoming again. Because of the Philippians’ actions Paul rejoiced (O’Brien, Philippians, 517).
B. ἐφʼ ᾧ καὶ ἐφρονεῖτε, ἠκαιρεῖσθε δέ. – regarding this you were concerned for me even though you had no chance to do something.