Some people avoid reading the book of Job because they’re afraid God will make them learn its lessons hands on. Don’t let that be your excuse. It’s a powerful book with lots to learn from! As Job’s life comes crashing down, and he loses his kids, wealth, and health, the outlook is bad. He questions everything, including why he was ever born. When life comes crashing down, we learn a lot about who our friends are.
Job’s friends get ragged on (rightfully so) for some of their terrible advice. In fact, in the final chapter, God tells them His anger is burning against them and they need to have Job pray for them because God will listen to Job’s prayers, but not theirs! Ouch.
Since what is most glaring about this trio is their terrible advice, it’s easy to overlook what they did right…
“Now when Job’s three friends heard of all this evil that had come upon him, they came each from his own place… They made an appointment together to come to show him sympathy and comfort him.”
— Job 2:11 ESV —
When they heard what happened, they left their homes and families and went to be with Job. They left what they knew and walked into a tragic, difficult situation.
In our world of electronic communication, we can forget the power of being present. A text or phone call is good, but sometimes, you need to go to them just to be present. There are a lot of things that can keep us at a distance. Sometimes it’s the difficulty of the situation, but often times it’s that we feel that we don’t have an answer.
“What can I tell them that they don’t already know?”
“I have no answers for what they’re going through. I’ve never dealt with something like that.”
Here’s what we need to remember: Your presence in someone’s life often speaks louder than any solution you can offer. Your friends probably don’t need you to fix their problems – they need you to simply be present in their lives.
So what if you haven’t been through the pain of divorce, the loss of a loved one, or a devastating diagnosis? Often times, it’s our presence in people’s lives that reminds them of God’s presence in their lives. Next time, don’t try to fix it. Just focus on being present. God will equip you with what you need when you need it.
K E V I N • M I L L E R
Make sure to pass this on to someone who could use some encouragement!
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