Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | October 14, 2019

When Words Fall Short

“I (God) am angry with you (Eliphaz) and your two friends for you have not spoken the truth about Me, as my servant Job has.” Job 42:7b (HCSB)

We’ve probably all found ourselves in pivot moments when we simply just didn’t know what to say. Someone we love experiences a heartbreaking loss. A family member or close friend passes away. A friend loses their job. A couple’s marriage disintegrates right before our eyes. A prodigal wanders further and further away heaping on devastating consequences. An illness or tragedy attacks those in our circle. Could be we are faced with the one whose choices haven’t served them well. All moments when we are searching for the right words and the right response.

Wonder if Job’s friends felt the same way? Devastation, heartbreak and extreme loss characterized Job’s life as Satan targeted him with blows from every angle. Within moments he lost his children, servants, livestock, and if that wasn’t enough he was stricken with boils from head to toe. Extreme losses. A man of perfect integrity (Job 1:8), Job became a moving target for Satan’s attacks. When his friends learned of his heartache, they left their homes with the intent to comfort Job.

And that sweet friends is where our story lands – after long dialogues and great dissertations, Job’s comfort is short lived. His friends can’t explain the tragic events plaguing Job. They can’t wrap their minds around it so instead of comfort, they resort to judgment and accusations. They paint a false narrative of who God is and how He has interacted with Job’s life.

Have to be honest here – we’ve probably all landed there. When the suffering of this world seems larger than life, we attempt to come up with some way to rationalize it. We search for words to say – a way to explain what is so much higher than our own understanding. Like Job’s friends our initial intentions are to comfort, but in the longevity of suffering, we may bend towards judgement and a misrepresentation of God. Don’t want to land in that place.

Before a single word escapes our lips, we would be wise to pray and seek God’s wisdom. Doesn’t mean He is going to give us the answer to someone’s suffering, but we can be confident He will guide us in what to say and when to say it. God will show us key scriptures to remind them of His faithfulness, promises and love for them. He will teach us how to listen deeply and allow others to give voice to their pain without fear of judgement. And sometimes the greatest gift we bring is just being present with them in the midst of their pain.

“Father, You are our ever present help. You are faithful and true. Longsuffering and full of grace. Help us to reflect Your character to those overwhelmed by sorrow and remind them of Your great love.”

For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Women’s Life


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