Be still, and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)
How can you care for a friend who is suffering? Take some advice from Job’s friends.
Remember Job was a brokenhearted father and husband, wracked with disease and doubt and grief. His friends heard about his troubles and set out to go and console and comfort him. When they saw him from a distance, they did not recognize him and they raised their voices and wept aloud. They tore their robes and threw dust in the air upon their heads. 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 2:11-13). His friends were there with him. They sat with him. They did not speak a word for seven days. Wow! To be that kind of care giving friend!
Then, his care giving friends ruined it all by opening their mouths. For the next twenty-two chapters, his friends played God telling Job he was being punished because of his sins. They dig, question, cajole, accuse and judge.
Job compares their help to a stream that is frozen in the winter and dried-up in the summer; no matter what the circumstances, the thirsty are turned away unsatisfied. (Job 6:15-17)
By the way, God did not like all the God talk of these friends. In fact, God says the friends are the ones who must fear His wrath, not Job. The friends must go to Job and beg him to pray for them! (Job 42:7-9)
Maybe we too need to: be there, be quiet and listen more.
From: Ben Patterson’s book, Waiting