It's a sad thing when people that we have grown up with in church eventually get to the point where they are no longer following Christ. This is what Paul was worried about with the Thessalonians. So he sent Timothy to visit them, encourage them, and strengthen them. Paul had a loving heart; and he wanted to know if the seed that he had planted in Thessalonica had grown, and what type of soil it was growing in. He had been worried that the outside pressure would cause them to turn away from the ways of the Lord. Thankfully, when Timothy returned, he brought back good news that caused Paul to rejoice in the faith of the Thessalonians! He was encouraged by their faithfulness under persecutions; and he was exceedingly prayerful that he might be able to go and see them personally, so that he could teach them and encourage them even more.
When is the last time that you have been anxious, like Paul, over the spiritual state and protection of one of your family members or neighbors? Does Paul's example make you desire to see your family and friends continue to learn and grow in the faith?