I was reading in the Old Testament book of Job recently. You know, the guy who was on top of the world… and then it all came crashing down around him? Yeah, that Job.
The story of Job is one that always gets me. You have a guy who is enjoying a great life. He has pretty much anything that he could want. He was not snobby about it though. He knew that his blessings came from the Lord. He was a God-fearing man.
With this man doing “what was right,” all of the sudden his world falls apart as he loses everything in the matter of a few days. All of his wealth…gone. Children…gone. Support of his wife…gone. Job was not having the best of weeks.
In Job 2, we see three friends enter the scene to comfort Job during his time of trial. A good portion of the book of Job is these friends trying to comfort and counsel their friend. For the most part, the advice that these friends give is what we might hear from our friends in time of need. Sadly, most of them thought that Job was lying and hiding sin in his life, and the pain he was going through was punishment for that.While the book of Job is filled with much advice from the friends, I think that the best counseling that they did came at the end of Job 2.
“And they sat with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his suffering was very great.” (Job 2:13)
I am one that does not like to see people hurt. The only thing that might bother me more seeing someone hurt is not being able to do something about it. I have been told that I am a “fixer.” I want to fix the problems that I see when I see them. Sometimes, in my “fixing”, I can make things worse. This is what happened with Job’s friends. They started out great but didn’t leave it there. They tried to do more.
One of the best ways we can help those who are hurting around us is to do what Job’s friends did at the end of Job 2 – just sit with them for a while. The best comfort we might be able to give someone is to let them be reminded that they are not alone. You don’t always need words for that. Presence speaks volumes.
As you see those around you hurting, take the time to be a good friend and remind them that they are not alone. You may never know the power of just being there with them through those times.