Friday, August 21, 2015

too deep for words

Today's readings: Job 1:1-3:26, 1 Cor 14:1-17, Psalm 37:12-29, Prov 21:25-26

I really enjoy reading Job's story. It is so contrary to our modern hedonistic selfishness. Everything you can imagine happens to Job, to test his faith in God. And he says "Naked I came into this world, and naked I will return. The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord."

That's wisdom. It's easy to praise God when things are good. When you're healthy, happily married, the kids are happy and healthy, and the money is flowing in. It's easy to have a grateful heart then. But when things are hard... when the blood tests come back positive. When your kids suffer. When the bills pile up and the income doesn't match it. When someone you love dies. Then our faith is put to the test.

Sure, we know that God promises that our suffering now will seem like NOTHING compared to the joy that we'll have when we see Him face to face. And deep down, we believe that. But it doesn't make it easy. It's still a challenge to keep getting up in the morning, going to work, breathing in and out. Life can be painful. Sometimes, life can be pain.

And that brings me to the take home lesson today. What do you do when your FRIEND is hurting? If you're not there now, you will be before long. We all face the pain eventually. So how do you deal with your friend's pain?

Well, Job's friends show us how today. (Don't put too much faith in them, because they'll drop the ball pretty soon. But today they do just right.) What do they do? They sit with him, and say nothing.

They care. They're there for him. They commiserate. They feel his pain, and they know that his pain is "too deep for words." This is good advice. Being a man, I tend to want to fix things. Females tend to be much better at listening to a story of loss or suffering and commiserating. I want to fix it. But that's not always what the person needs. If I'm honest, that's PROBABLY not EVER what the person needs. What they need is someone to listen. To be there with them. To care.

God, please remind me to be there when my friends need me.

1 comment:

julie reedy said...

My my my.....we are to the story of Job.....one of the people I want to spend time with in heaven. My head understands all that happens in this story but my heart does not. I know all the explanations of what this shows to us but will God allow satan to do this to believers now. Job was a God loving man without blame and with integrity. Of course I am not. Was this a test for Job yes but he was blameless. Does it show our need for an intercessor, yes but.... He passed the test and received even more from God but....
I will sit and listen to those who are suffering without giving advise, they simply need someone to listen and only God has the answers.