Job 2:11 Now when Job’s three friends heard of all this evil that was come upon him, they came every one from his own place; Eliphaz the Temanite, and Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite: for they had made an appointment together to come to mourn with him and to comfort him.
Job was a man that suffered more that I can imagine. He lost his wealth, his children and his health in a short period of time. As he sat in ashes and scraped the boils on his skin, three of his friends came to comfort him. During the most trying time in his life, Job had someone that cared enough to reach out to him. His wife, in her own grief and sorrow, had told him to curse God and die. There wasn’t much going right for this great man of faith at that time.
The three friends that came to be with Job eventually turned on him and accused him of having sin in his life, and that was the reason for all the problems that befell him. I want us to notice that his friends had pure motives and they started out right in their efforts to comfort their friend. As a matter of fact I believe we can see in Job’s friends effective actions that we can take to help someone that is in the midst of trials or grief.
Job’s friends take a lot of deserved criticism for the way that they accused their friend of causing his own problems. After all we should never assume that we know the reason behind anyone’s suffering. I do, however want to point out that at least they came together and wanted to help Job. They made an appointment together.
If we want to be a real help to someone, we need to simply “Be there” for them. It may mean making an appointment, but being available to someone that is hurting can be such a help. I mean real help. At our son Johnny’s funeral, some dear friends came up to me and said, “Let’s us know if there is anything we can do to help.” I asked them to, “Please stay in touch, after the funeral is over we are going to need someone to talk to.” They made an appointment with us to go out to dinner the next month with them. There was lots of tears, some laughter, but mostly comfort, being with people that cared enough to get together. We have since that time made appointments to go out for dinner once a month for, what we call, our “therapy” sessions. Their willingness to “Be there” for us has been such a blessing.
People that are hurting and grieving need to know that we are willing to make an appointment to be there. Do you know someone that is hurting? Make the appointment. Believe me, they will appreciate the effort. You will help them more than you will know.