Two teen-age boys are shooting baskets out in the driveway. No words spoken. No conversation between them. One boy just lost his father to cancer and the second boy is a friend. This true scene took place in a small town in northern Pennsylvania in May 1973. My husband, Walt (age 13) was hit with the sting of his father’s death and his friend, Scott, wasn’t sure what words to speak but he wanted to offer comfort.
Hard things happen in life. Difficult times come. As we read the book of Job, let’s meet God and find out how He wants us to deal with the trials and difficult circumstances in life. This book gives us an inside look at the heavenly throne of our Father. Chapters 1 & 2 remind me that I have absolutely no idea what God is thinking, doing, or allowing in this world. But I can know, without a single doubt, He is in control.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” ~Isaiah 55:8-9
Remember, we do not know what might be taking place in God’s throne room. We do not know God’s thoughts nor do we understand His ways. We can never assume to know the heart of another person.
In Job 2:8, Job is covered with sores and sitting in ashes. Then, his 3 comforters arrive on the scene. Their initial intent was to show Job sympathy and comfort him (2:11). However, after sitting with him for seven days and seven nights, the conversations begin. Job is struggling – he’s in pain and deeply grieving. These comforters begin to speak and unfortunately, their words only add to Job’s agony.
Eliphaz speaks, “As for me, I would seek God, and to God would I commit my cause.” ~Job 5:8
Bildad speaks, “Such are the paths of all who forget God; the hope of the godless shall perish.” ~Job 8:13
Zophar speaks, “If iniquity is in your hand, put it far away, and let not injustice dwell in your tents.” ~Job 11:14
And so I ask myself, can I sit with my friend in the midst of her pain, loss, or difficult circumstance? Do I exhibit an attitude of judgment toward my hurting friend? Am I looking for the quick fix answer? Is it possible for me to just sit and patiently wait with her?
I am thankful for the example of a young teen-age boy. He was willing to be present and just spend quiet time with his hurting friend on that difficult afternoon. After all these years, we still remember and appreciate Scott for his valuable gift.