The other day I wrote about Job’s friends. I loved the fact that after Job lost everything and was suffering excruciating physical and emotional pain, his friends came to him, ripped their clothing, and sat quietly with him for seven days. They just loved him.
When I was in the darkest of places I wish I’d had more friends who just sat quietly with me and loved me instead of making judgmental and condemning comments. Even some of the advice was painful. Unless you’ve been in that same situation you might not understand that.
Well, when we read on in the Biblical book of Job we discover that Job’s friends weren’t content to sit quietly. They too felt compelled to open their mouths and heap hot coals of condemnation onto their friend.
Job’s wife gets in on the action too. His wife said to him, "Are you still holding on to your integrity? Curse God and die!" Job 2:9 (NIV)
As a side note here, I must say that I question the motivation behind Job’s wife’s comment. I mean she too was in pain. Hadn’t she also lost her children and her home? She must have been desperate for the pain to end. But I digress.
A friend of mine commented on my blog post. She works in a grief ministry and walks with people through the grieving process. She said, “When I think of people who do not say anything—that is worse”. I can only speak from my own personal experience. The people who were silent didn’t hurt me.
I wrote a post several months ago about people who THINK they know what’s best for us in our time of grief, when in reality, they’re just adding to the stress. I know people just want to help—really I do.
In the end, the Lord made Job prosperous again. He ended up with more cattle, donkeys, sheep, camels, and kids then he had before.
BUT…and this is important…BUT, God prospered Job only AFTER he prayed for the very friends who had cursed him. After Job had prayed for his friends, the LORD made him prosperous again and gave him twice as much as he had before. Job 42:10 (NIV)
I remember a time when God told me to pray for someone who had hurt me. I did it immediately. I’ve continued that practice to this day—praying for people who’ve caused me pain. Do I pray for them so that the pain will end and God will prosper us and give us swag?
I do it because it’s right, and because personal healing and a healthy relationship with God is better than all the stuff in the world!