Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and nights. No one said a word to Job, for they saw that his suffering was too great for words. Job 2:13 (NLT)
Did you know that the book of Job is one of the oldest books of the Old Testament? In my Read-through-the-Bible-Chronologically commitment, Job has been my assignment for the past few days. After reading Genesis, which records the stories of the Patriarchs ending with Joseph’s story of reconciliation and promise, Job’s trials jolted me back to reality. The story begins with a jealous Satan taunting God that the only reason that Job feared Him was because of his prosperous life. God decided to allow Satan to test him because He knew Job’s character and believed he was a man of integrity. Tragedy ensued and Job lost everything that was dear to him except a bitter wife. He suffered from horrible health issues so that those who knew this well respected man began to slink back in the shadows in embarrassment…except for three “friends.” I use that term loosely because their actions and counsel left a lot to be desired. Yet, they started out great. These three guys heard about Job’s mess and traveled to his home to comfort him. They quickly assessed his pain and grief and just sat with him for seven days. Words were unnecessary.
I know that in the midst of great pain, there is nothing like someone taking hold of your hands and looking you in the eyes. This simple act of touch conveys volumes of sympathy and empathy without one single word, allowing pent-up emotions to spill out and healing to begin. We are such a fix-it-now society that sitting makes us uncomfortable. We want to do something. But, Job’s story illustrates the value of being willing to let go of our ideas and let God do it His wayand in His time. Be a friend that reveals God-with-skin-on. Sit.