Chronic illness, debilitating disease, wayward teens, troubled relationships, job loss, discouragement, depression…
Right now, among my family, friends, neighbors, and acquaintances, I know many people who currently face one or more of these trials. You may be dealing with these too. Tomorrow it could be me.
I’ve been reading through the book of Job in my daily time with God. Now, there was a man who faced intense suffering. He lost his family, his home, his livelihood – everything he had. He was “blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil (Job 1:1-2).” Yet, God allowed the trials to test Job’s faith. Job’s wife was angry that he still clung to God. She urged him to “curse God and die (2:9)!” But Job refused.
Through these dark days, Job could not even count on his friends to sustain him. The three that showed up only came to judge him and call him evil. Even though Job’s suffering was intense and endless, his friends offered no sympathy or encouragement, only condemnation. Job described them as intermittent streams that overflow in the spring thaw, but dry up in hot, dry weather.
What did Job need from his friends? What can I do for my family, friends, and neighbors who are carrying heavy burdens? If you’ve been there – if you’re there now – would you give me some advice? How can we help when we can’t change the circumstances?
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