"Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights. No one said a word to him, because they saw how great his suffering was." Job 2:13 NIV
Have you ever had those moments in life where it seems like everything is going wrong? This thing breaks, and then this other thing breaks, and then the tenth thing breaks, and you're like, "I need a break!"
I think life in general can often seem like a nonstop paddling through different trials and situations. My husband and I experienced this a lot in our previous home. So many things kept breaking or going wrong, and always at the most in-opportune time; usually before or after a vacation. Our entire A/C unit broke over the 4th of July one year, which happened to be the hottest week of the summer. While we were visiting family over Christmas one year, some mice snuck in and got into our pantry and we had to throw away most of our food. And, when we arrived home from a wonderful vacation, we discovered that we had no running water. It turns out our well was completely dry.
I have so many more stories, but these just give you a little window into some of our trials that happened in a timespan of three years. Looking back, I can see how we survived and persevered through whatever came our way, but they were not enjoyable experiences at the time! I am so thankful for those who encouraged us, were patient with us no matter how sleep deprived we were, and who even opened up their home to us. They helped us so much!
But, you know what wasn't helpful? The people who told us to try and figure out what God was trying to teach us, and then rattled off a handful of Bible verses. I remember the exact moment reading my social media thinking, "We have NO running water...and, it's going to cost thousands of dollars to fix the problem. Don't give me Bible verses when what I need is a shower!"
The book of Job has so many lessons jam-packed into it. In Chapter 1, one thing after the other after the other is taken away from Job. He is so heartbroken and downtrodden, yet he does not sin (1:22). Several chapters in the book of Job give all of the lengthy advice that his friends try to give him, but as readers, we know that they are not making the situation any better.
But, what was the BEST help to Job? The moment his friends came to see him. They saw him from afar, were heartbroken and wept, and then just sat with him for SEVEN days and nights. They didn't try to give him advice. They didn't make him try to figure out what he did wrong. They just sat with him and let him mourn for awhile.
Do you know someone going through a difficult time right now? I encourage you to visit them, give them a call, or write them a note, but don't preach to them. If they want to talk, let them talk, but maybe the best thing you can do is just be there.
Checkout the My Job Prayer Journal on Amazon if you're interested in reading and journaling through the book of Job!