There were so many instances this past week where references to Job and his friends came up in conversation; it was pretty remarkable actually. When themes repeat over and over like that it usually makes me ask God, 'why.' I have to be honest; I didn't necessarily want to focus on the troubled Job. How often do we want to sit in someone else's pain even as a topic for devotion time right? We secretly think, 'let them get over it so we can all move on already!'
As we know, Job got trouble that he did not deserve. He had no say in the trials he was forced to reckon with and yet he is our role model for how NOT to sin while "going through." But what kept coming up in my devotion time and in conversations was the role that his friends played. First off, It was remarkable to me that Job's three friends simply SHOWED UP! Lesson number one: don't run from your friends or families trials and tribulations; run TO them! When we lose a loved one, especially a child through miscarriage or stillbirth or abortion, people sometimes feel guilty for shying away because they don't know what to say to bring comfort. It's OK, because that brings us to lesson number two: You don't have to have the "perfect" thing to say. Job's friends sat for SEVEN days without saying a word. There are times when just being fully present with your grieving loved one is the best thing you can do. While present, you can pick up on lesson number 3: simply PAY ATTENTION. You will know how and what to pray for when you tune into their pain. Even when that person is too spiritually poor to pray for themselves, you can spend the quiet time listening to Holy Spirit instruct you on that person's needs. And then YOU can fervently pray for them.
All of these lessons allow us to step into the fullness of people's REAL lives. Not the Facebook celebrated lives or the TikTok curated lives but that persons actual bona fide life! Job's friends didn't pick and chose when to activate their 'friendship mode based upon the superficiality of what Job was worth or what he'd once owned or even the immensity of his tragic new life. They chose to BEAR WITNESS to the MESSY. And it doesn't get any harder than losing children.
So, I thank you Lord for bringing Job's story to my attention over and over again this week. As I look forward to hosting a very tough topic on Thursday--losing a child through miscarriage and abortion I am grateful that we get to run TOWARDS some really hard topics. May all of us who've sat in the misery of those losses now be willing to be the friends that sit with others in their pain. I pray you are able to make the Refresh meeting May 6th at 7pm on Zoom. RSVP on the main AriseDaughter.org home page under "Events" and join in the circle that speaks life over the grieving. Much love!! Sylvia