“Now when Job’s three friends heard of all this adversity that had come upon him, each one came from his own place, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite; for they had made an appointment together to come to sympathize with him and to comfort him. When they looked from a distance and did not recognize him [because of his disfigurement], they raised their voices and wept; and each one tore his robe [in grief] and they threw dust over their heads toward the sky [in sorrow]. So they sat down on the ground with Job for seven days and seven nights and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his pain was very great.”
Job 2:11-13 AMP
I was reading a bedtime story to my son and this passage stood out to me. When adversity came to Job, his three friends came to sympathize and comfort him. Here is the part that really spoke to me:
“So they sat down on the ground with Job for seven days and seven nights and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his pain was very great.”
Job 2:13 AMP
They sat seven days and seven nights in silence. What a statement of friendship!! Seven days of sitting with a friend you can’t even recognize because the pain is so intense it makes them unrecognizable is hard, however, Job’s friends were present with him.
Sitting in silence is a skill. Have you mastered this skill? I can tell you that I have not. It is a humbling experience to step back and believe silence is a blessing. I’m leaning into it and learning along this journey.
One of the things I’m learning is I need to be able to sit in the feelings of those around me and allow them to settle in their emotions. Job’s intense feelings of suffering might have triggered feelings within his friends of their own sufferings.
A deep true friendship can do what Job’s friends did. Even when it may not feel good to see and embrace a friend hurting, your love can sit in their grief. Job’s friends decided they must go to him and not leave him alone no matter what they found.
Let’s ask our self this question: Am I willing to do this?
Job’s friends did not speak until Job was ready to start the conversation. They waited patiently for Job to lead his own healing, and Job had to believe and want his healing for himself, not just for his friends to believe in it for him.
What a lesson of friendship! Sometimes, it’s in the being together that brings the healing. Healing starts in the sitting in the pain with a friend.
It is special when friends rally around you in the storms of life and they don’t come to fix and repair. They rally to sit with you in a “quiet state” and not a “let me fix you state.” This can start the restoration of a hurting heart. Surrendering to the process of restoration is a messy journey. It’s a hurting heart to hurting heart exchange. The first step, I believe, is casting all your pains at the altar of your heart and believing the Father, who created you, shares in your suffering and is weeping with you.
I wanted to see if there were more nuggets to glean from this Job passage, so I went to my Maxwell Leadership Bible and came upon this commentary:
“Somehow these friends realized an important truth: People don’t lose intimacy when they stop talking, but when they stop listening. Leaders seldom realize how much their listening empowers the other person. Because they are leaders, the sheer act of listening speaks volumes that even a great speech can’t communicate.”
Communicates the value of the other person and his or her thoughts.
Communicates love and understanding and care for their needs.
Communicates a desire to grow, learn, and remain teachable.
Another note in the commentary says, “Job was a disciples person, however. He lived his life from his character, not his emotions. Job never sinned against God with his words. He maintained his sense of integrity all the way through the ordeal.”
Wow! What a testimony!
I also found in my reading from Genesis 22:1 this footnote: “The purpose of God’s tests are not so that you would fail, but that He would prove that you are faithful! Tests are God’s vote of confidence in our future. The budding qualities of Christ-likeness are brought forth in every test of our faith. Someday, you may call a ‘blessing’ what you once called a ‘burden.’”
Trials are the conduit that perfects our faith.
The Bible mentions this life would not be easy, but a good friend makes it that much more bearable. May we all be challenged to be that friend that can sit, listen, and pray with a faith for a bright day.
And remember, a burden can be turned around into a blessing when you praise Him in the storm and become the cheer that smiles from ear to ear.
If you feel comfortable, I would love to hear your stories of a sitting friend. Sharing is caring, and the more we share, the more others learn how to care too. No names have to be mentioned, but just share how the person came and sat with you. How did it make you feel? How did it help you heal?
Abide by Andrew and Mary Kay Ehrenzeller: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=YynwVhCvb8g