A Statement of Friendship


“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.