Friday, January 28, 2011

Job's Friends

Job 2:11-13 (New King James Version)

Now when Job’s three friends heard of all this adversity that had come upon him, each one came from his own place—Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite. For they had made an appointment together to come and mourn with him, and to comfort him. And when they raised their eyes from afar, and did not recognize him, they lifted their voices and wept; and each one tore his robe and sprinkled dust on his head toward heaven. So they sat down with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his grief was very great.

How should I respond when a friend is suffering great grief? What is it I should say? How should I act? We hurt for our friend, just wanting their pain to go away. Sometimes we try to speak a word of comfort, yet it does not help. Maybe even makes them feel worse.

When my wife died I suffered pain which I could not even describe. Many times people tried to say words of comfort. Yes I appreciated that, as I knew they truly cared. But what brought me the most comfort? It was when someone walked up to me and gave me a great big Ole hug and I could see the sorrow in their eyes. They did not even have to say a word, and if they did speak, just to let me know they cared. Our presence and praying means everything to someone in the early stages of grief.

We never know when death, serious illness or financial disaster is going to rear its ugly head. Many times it is not us it happens to, but a friend. It is good to be prepared in advance, first by knowing who God is and being in a close relationship with Him. I like the way Job’s three friends responded in the passages above. When they heard, they came to him to mourn and comfort him. Then they expressed their grief and set with him without saying a word. This does not mean to not speak at all, but there is a time and a season for everything under the sun. Sometimes our presence and showing we care is the greatest comfort we can give. Unfortunately, later in the book Job’s friends words were not a comfort.


  1. Good post!
    I use to struggle when someone was grieving for I didn't know how to console them. You are so right! A hug and just letting them know that you are there caring does wonders for the soul. I figured this out when I had kids. Really, when they have hurt themselves they are just looking for love; aren't we all?

    God Bless,

  2. I think when someone is grieving, they just want to know that someone else cares. It's not necessarily the words that matter, just being there. If Job's friends had just come to be with him and not say anything, he would have felt better.
    Have a blessed weekend!

  3. I believe this is so true, just receiving a hug with seeing the tears in their eyes, and prayer, is much more important than what words could ever say.

    God Bless,


  4. It really helps in a struggle when you have a friend who is with you and who is close enough to you to feel your pain. Just knowing that they understand seems to lighten the load.

  5. This is good advice. I really like how they just came and sat with him. I think just being there can be a comfort. Even in the quiet. What can you really say to someone that can comfort them in their darkest moments of grief or pain? There really are no words. Perhaps silence is best.

    Sometimes, if someone is going through a difficult time, I just come out and ask "how can I help?" or "what would you like me to do?", or "how can I pray for you?" If we want to know what someone needs, just ask. It's always good to pray and ask the Lord for wisdom. Or even be honest and say "I don't know what to say right now, but I'm here".

    Much to think about!

    I think you could have a ministry to the grieving, Ken. You can comfort others with the comfort you have received, or perhaps wish you would have received. I know you would be a blessing.

  6. Ken, that was a excellent post, thanks for sharing your heart and insight with us.

  7. Hello Ken. There's a surprise for you on my blog.
    God bless. :)

  8. There is a lot of truth here! Love your blog. Came over from Vilisi

  9. Grief is terribly hard. It dries you up with a terrible indescribable ache inside. You function like a robot and loose all feeling plus the ability to even cry...It's like you are in a dessert alone. Often that is where you are left also...
    I felt this for years. I knew I loved my children and yet there was no feeling for them either...writing of it brings back the memory. I don't know if anything ever replaces the great loss of love? I remarried in time and I care deeply for my now hubby, but its not the same...
    Here is where we need Jesus. And like the verse in FOOTPRINTS describes, it is then, He carries us. Hug.

  10. Hi Ken -

    Thank you for this wise message.

    These words from you particularly struck me, "When they heard, they came to him to mourn and comfort him. Then they expressed their grief and set with him without saying a word. This does not mean to not speak at all, but there is a time and a season for everything under the sun."

    Note: I love the title of your blog.


Due to an increase in spam, I have enabled comment moderation. Any spam messages will be deleted. Thank you for understanding.