All praise to the God and Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah! Father of all mercy! God of all healing counsel! He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (MSG)
In the Book of Job, Job was going through a really hard time. He had lost everything. He lost his family, his wealth and even his health. He was miserable. As he sat in ashes with sores all over his body, three of his friends decided to come comfort him.
As they sat there, they started talking. Unfortunately, what they said was not helpful. Instead of coming along side Job and lifting him up, they started telling him how he must have messed up. They told him the calamities that he was facing had to be his fault. He must have done something to deserve this.
To add insult to injury, they told him God was punishing him. And then they started misrepresenting God in their conversation.
At the end of the book God says this:
“I’ve had it with you and your two friends. I’m fed up! You haven’t been honest either with me or about me—not the way my friend Job has.” 42:7 (MSG)
God was angry with Job’s three friends because they misrepresented him. They didn’t help Job at all with their words. Maybe they were just trying to provide an answer but in doing so, they hurt Job and God’s image. Often when we come across people who are hurting, we feel that we need to say something and in grasping for the right thing to say, we say things we shouldn’t.
Maybe we should just come alongside and be. Be present, be silent and be loving. We don’t need words for that. We need a heart that has traveled through pain before (haven’t we all?). We need a relationship with Jesus so we can share the comfort he has shared with us.
If you encounter someone who is hurting today, say a quick prayer asking God for His Spirit and be….