Hello Again! After a summer hiatus, the Corner is back.
When you recall a time when you were in a dark place of suffering, who or what was it that helped you through? Was it an individual? Were there encouraging words? When we look at Scripture, we see a wonderful example of true “help” provided to Job who endured tremendous suffering.
So, Job’s plight is well known both inside and outside church circles. We read about the event in Job chapter 2:11-13, where Job’s friends: Bildad, Zophar and Eliphaz, heard about him and moved to his aid.
Here is what they did. First, they showed up! Verse 11 tells us that they came together and decided to go to him and offer sympathy. When you are in trouble the fact that someone takes the time to come to you often makes ALL the difference.
Second, the three entered into his grief. Verse 12, tells us how the friends catch a glimpse of their suffering friend. Completely shocked by his almost unrecognizable face, they mourn outwardly. It is so comforting when someone not only comes to us, but also acknowledges the suffering and enters into it. It is like a burden shared.
Third, they took time with him. Verse 13 reveals their commitment to Job. This was not a short stay. Rather, for 7 days and 7 nights, they say on the ground with him. No doubt during that time, they looked after him, most likely providing for physical needs such as food and water. When you are in dark place of suffering the extended stay and care provided from another often accelerates healing.
Fourth, they said nothing. This is probably THE most helpful thing provided. Verse 13 reads: “no one spoke a word to him as they saw that he suffering was very great.” Three friends’ provision of excellent care for the suffering Job reminds us of Jesus. Jesus saw the suffering of humankind, grieved openly and took action at the cross.
How have you reached out to someone struggling or in a dark place? Does the response of Job’s three friends cause you to re-evaluate your response to the needs of others?
In the love of Jesus,