Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
The healing Power of Being PresentJob 2: 11-13
v. 11: When Job’s three friends, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite, heard about all the troubles that had come upon him, they set out from their homes and met together by agreement to go and sympathize with him and comfort him.
Knowing how to comfort someone who is struggling or experiencing grief is one of the most challenging things to do. Often it is hard to find the right words to say or know how to show empathy in the moment. In the book of Job, we see how God allowed Satan to take everything away from Job; subsequently, the next several chapters show a grief-stricken Job who is trying to make sense of things as he mourns everything he has lost.
As Job continues to process his misfortune, his three friends Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar come to visit him. Job’s friends were far from perfect, but chapter 2 highlights the moments they acted selflessly and made it a priority to comfort Job. In verse 11, we see that as soon as they heard about Job’s troubles, “they set out from their homes and met together by agreement to go and sympathize with him and comfort him.” Job’s friends were quick to recognize that Job needed support during this time of crisis. Consequently, they banded together and planned on how they would be there for him. It is so easy to be weighed down by our own problems and live in our own personal bubbles. However, in this passage, we learn from Job’s friends how to be attuned to the needs of those around us, as well as the speed at which a community should be able to come together when an individual is in need. Next, Job’s friends teach us an invaluable lesson on how to console someone experiencing grief. Verse 12 shows us that Job’s friends began to weep and tear their robes when they saw the physical and emotional state that Job was in. In verse 13 we read how they sat with him for seven days and seven nights without saying a word to him because they realized the toll that Job’s suffering had taken on him. Job’s friends’ first response was to share in his grief. They were not afraid to stay by his side during his lowest point. Instead of rushing to speak or give words of comfort, they were quick to silently listen and sit with him in his misery and discomfort. How often do we rush to give advice to others when, in reality, they are not in the place or state of mind to receive our words? Or how often do we steer clear of those experiencing intense grief because we are too intimidated or overwhelmed by the weight of what they are undergoing to even approach them? Through this passage, God is inviting us to be selfless and proactive about caring for those who are in pain and are struggling with loss. Therefore, let us take the first step by intentionally choosing to be present for someone in need.
Father thank you for showing us how to console others during their time of grief. Lord, may we be better as a community in learning how to identify the needs of others. God, may we love those around us, just as much as you love us. In Your Name we pray, Amen.
Thought for the Day
Just showing up for someone can be a powerful way of demonstrating our love for them.
Ms. Marybeth Babu
Long Island Mar Thoma Church