The passages in the “Necessary Food” Bible reading plan for January 5 are: Genesis 5:1-32; Job 2:11-13; Isaiah 4:2-6; Matthew 3:1-12; and Romans 2:1-11.
Ever hear this statement… “I feel your pain!”? Com’on really?! We really need to be careful about statements like that given without much thought about how much people are suffering!
Many of us have friends that are suffering pain and grief as we enter 2021. They need our support, help and comfort as they weather the process of grieving.
I read Job 2:11-13 this morning during my time of “coffee with the Lord.” It seems to me that after all Job had been through, his “friends” made their first mistake when they stopped simply being WITH him in his suffering and opened their mouth and proposed all kinds of simplistic “answers” to his dilemma.
But that begs the question, however… What did they do RIGHT at the outset of their time with him? I’d like to suggest several things…
- When they “heard of the adversity that had come upon him” they immediately acted! They “made an appointment together to come and mourn with him, and to comfort him.” They did not postpone or put off their attempt to communicate their concern and comfort.
- They “wept with him” and grieved with him. Authentic empathy is a wonderful gift to a suffering individual! It communicates the message, “I’m seeking to ‘feel with you’ in your pain and suffering! I am with you in the time of your sorrow.”
- They extended their concern and care for Job’s suffering and sorrow: “They sat down with him on the ground seven days and nights” (however, that may not have been long enough). Grieving is a process and it often takes extended time to process before it is resolved in the lives of those who are hurting.
- And then the final thing they did right…(at least for awhile)… “No one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his grief was very great!” Advice and “stock clichés” are NOT what a grieving person needs! Loving, caring, presence, however, can be a wonderful help and healer! But even then “don’t overstay your welcome!” A sensitive discernment should be exercised – the grieving will need some personal “space” to process their feeling.)
Oh, I want to be a blessing to those that are hurting, don’t you? Apostle Paul urged us to “Weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice.” (Romans 12:15) And he also reminded us, “If one member [of Christ’s body] suffers, all the member suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.” (1 Corinthians 12:26)