Take a moment to open this time in prayer. Ask God to bless you as you read and reflect on the text.
Read Job 2: 11 – 13
In the book of Job, Job goes through tremendous hardship and suffering. He is blessed to have friends who care enough about him to come and visit him. When his friends see him the Bible tells us that they tore their robes and came and sat with him on the ground for seven days and seven nights. The Bible also tells us that they did not say anything. I think this is a powerful testimony to something known as the “ministry of presence.” The “ministry of presence,” is the idea that just being with someone is often enough and we don’t always have to say anything. In my own struggles and sufferings in life I have also had friends come to be with me. However, sometimes those friends have said well- meaning but ridiculous words. I think sometimes we say something in times of mourning because we feel uncomfortable. The truth is, it is often enough just to come and sit and be with people and pray silently.
Please use the following questions for more reflection.
Often when tragedy or sufferings occur people may try to comfort us with words but the words may fall flat. Why do we try and comfort people with words? Have you ever had someone say some well-intentioned but maybe not helpful words to you? How did you react?
Why do you think Job’s friends sat on the ground with him and said nothing? Would this reaction be helpful to you if you had suffered a great loss?
What does this passage tell us about comforting people?
Closing - Use the prayer below to end the devotion or close in prayer in your own words.
Gracious Heavenly Father, I thank you that whether we can feel it or not you are always with us. I pray that when suffering comes my way that there might be people who come and comfort me. Lord, I also ask that you help me know what to do and what to say, if anything, when I am trying to comfort others. Amen.