While John and Marti are on retreat, our good friend, Dave Roper will be providing our Catches each day. For more on Dave’s works, click here.
These are my only fellow workers for the kingdom of God… they have been a comfort to me. Colossians 4:11
Paul’s noun “comfort” is a word that occurs only here in the New Testament. It’s a medical term that he may have borrowed from his companion, Dr. Luke.
In Paul’s day it meant “a potion that soothes or alleviates pain.” We get the archaic term “paregoric” from it, a word my mother applied to a mysterious and wonder-working, elixir in our medicine chest that was said to cure most of what ailed us.
Paregoric contained opium, a controlled substance these days, but it was the best anodyne that patent medicine could offer at the time, and a welcome relief from pain.
We can thank God for modern analgesics and the relief they bring us, but a greater blessing are those brothers and sisters who comfort us in our distress.
They come to listen and to pray; they show up to help—they don’t need to be asked—to lift burdens too heavy for us to bear.
There are folks like that—God bless them. “They have been a comfort to me.”