Have you ever seen a friend or loved one suffering so greatly that the situation was too difficult for words? You wish you could do something to help, but there’s noting you can do or say that will make things different or take the terrible pain away? Often when the trouble is so extreme, we don’t know what to do, so we simply do nothing. Yet in the book of Job we find a great example of what to do for a friend who is suffering like this:Three of Job’s friends heard of all the trouble that had fallen on him. Each traveled from his own country—Eliphaz from Teman, Bildad from Shuhah, Zophar from Naamath—and went together to Job to keep him company and comfort him. When they first caught sight of him, they couldn’t believe what they saw—they hardly recognized him! They cried out in lament, ripped their robes, and dumped dirt on their heads as a sign of their grief. Then they sat with him on the ground. Seven days and nights they sat there without saying a word. They could see how rotten he felt, how deeply he was suffering. Job 2:11-13 (MSG)
When Job’s friends heard of the tragedy that had occurred in his life, they all came together to be with their friend. The distance didn’t matter to them. What mattered was the fact that their dear friend was hurting, and they gathered to keep him company and comfort him. When they finally got to their friend’s side and saw his terrible condition, they were overcome with grief for him, and they wept with him. And even though there was absolutely nothing they could do or say to take away Job’s pain or remove the torment he felt, they simply sat by his side for seven days and nights without saying a word. This was one of those times in life when no words were necessary…just the silent, comforting presence of precious friends.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,
who comforts us in all our troubles,
so that we can comfort those in any trouble
with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.
2 Corinthians 1: 3 – 4