A FRIEND TO COMFORT (JOB 2:12–13)
- If you were in pain, which friend (or friends) would you want by your side? Why?
- Which friend would you definitely not want around when you’re in pain? Why?
After Job lost his family and possessions, three of his friends came to comfort him. We can learn a lot—good and bad—from their example. The first thing Job’s friends did right was to visit Job in person. They didn’t send a card wishing him well. They didn’t let their discomfort or awkwardness keep them away. They went to grieve with him.
They also gave Job the space he needed to grieve. Job 2:13 says Job’s friends sat in silence for seven days and seven nights. They saw how badly Job was hurting, and they were content to grieve quietly with him. They gave him time to process his thoughts and feelings. They didn’t try to force a conversation.
That’s not to say Job’s friends did everything right. In their arrogance, they were convinced they knew the reason for his suffering. They believed Job was being punished for sin and kept urging him to repent. They were wrong, and as a result, they added to his misery.
Let’s learn from the example of Job’s friends. Each of us will have opportunities to help friends who are hurting. The way we respond to those opportunities will say a lot about us and about the God we serve.
Dear God, make us aware of the people around us who need our help. Give us the strength and wisdom to comfort those who are hurting. Amen.
Taken from Once a Day At the Table©2017 HarperCollins Christian Publishing