“These are the only Jews among my co-workers for the kingdom of God, and they have proved a comfort to me.” Col. 4:11
The apostle was by no means feeling sorry for himself; he was merely stating the fact. In a time of great trial, Paul was standing alone, practically by himself.
There were a few Jews there standing by him at the time, including the young John Mark. Luke the doctor was there as well.
That’s what suffering does to people, really. Difficulty separates and isolates, and the greater the suffering is, the greater loneliness it causes. Tribulation does cause people to feel that they are utterly deserted by God, as well as by people.
It wasn’t considered major surgery, according to my son, who is an EM doctor. Yet I have never felt so alone in my entire life as I was lying on a cold gurney, waiting to be operated on.
Suffering and death can only be dealt with individually.
“These are the only Jews among my co-workers for the kingdom of God, and they have proved a comfort to me.” Paul wrote.
What could they have done for him at the time but at least offer to the apostle a few words of comfort, which amounted to nothing and could not have availed much. Indeed, old Job might have preferred to suffer affliction all by himself, for his three friends didn’t seem to add anything to him at the time of his excruciating pain. All he wanted at the time was silence.
What makes illness and death so unbearable is the world seems to be moving forward without us and our not being there doesn’t seem to make the slightest difference either/or. We will all come to realize that our existence really isn’t all that important to the world, and to the people of our inner and outer circles. People always manage to move on without us.
Thus, why even mention that only a few people even cared at the time of his suffering and imprisonment? Was it a sign of Paul’s spiritual weakness and instability?
As things go concerning a situation such as the apostle was facing, doing something is far better than doing nothing at all. We all cry for help when suffering strikes and it is always comforting to have people standing by our side, causing us to realize that we are treasured and loved, and our presence in the world does make a great difference in people’s lives.
Does it even matter whether I pay this man a visit? I murmured to myself. Surely his dire situation will not improve by my occasional visits. Yet I went anyway and my visit did bring a little laughter to his weary face. That was quite enough, I suppose.
Friday, December 14, 2018 7:37:00 AM