Not a word


Don’t you love it when you read a passage of scripture that you’ve read before and something seems to jump off the page.  When that happens to me, I take time to reflect on what the Lord may want me to learn from it or where in my life I need to apply that particular nugget of truth.

That very thing happened to me this week.  My daily Bible reading has me in Job.  I’ve read Job before — more than once.  I’ve heard sermons on it and have studied it in Sunday School.  I really wasn’t expecting anything other than a dose of encouragement to persevere in the difficult times and to remain faithful to God because He is always faithful to us.

I was reading along, only in chapter 2, and I came across these words in verse 13:

no one spoke a word to him

I read it again.  And again.  Then I went back and read from verse 1.  If you’re not familiar with the passage, the account goes like this.  Satan was roaming the earth.  The Lord asked him in verse 3, “”Have you considered my servant Job…”  In verse 7 satan leaves the presence of the Lord and struck Job with sores.  The Bible says they were “loathsome” sores.  Not just a few.  He had them from head to toe.  In other words, he was covered with them.

In verse 9, his wife questioned if he was still willing to hold to his integrity.  She actually suggested that he “curse God and die.”  Job’s response to her, “…Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?”  Then his three friends came to encourage him. When they first saw him, they were grieved to the point of weeping.    Then (this is the part that jumped out at me)…

13And they sat with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his suffering was very great.

It hit me.  How often do I find that a friend or family member needs encouragement and I talk and talk and talk?  I have good intentions but my words, I am sure, are often just that.  Words.  Am I willing to sit with my friend, my family member, and not speak a word.  Am I willing to allow God to do what He is doing understanding that I’m not supposed to fix it?

I’ve been trying to speak words of encouragement to a dear friend for months now.  The situation that she is in makes my heart hurt.  I  have wept, I have prayed.  And I have talked.  We don’t live near each other so my talking is through emails, Facebook messages, and text messages.  When I read verse 13, I wondered if the Lord would have me not speak a word to her?  That doesn’t mean that I abandon her.  It means that I let her know I’m available, but I stop trying to fix it.  I can pray but she may need my silent support more than my words.

I’m not sure that my ramblings here make sense but I know that God calls us to love and encourage others.  I know that every situation is different.  Sometimes I think that yes, I am to go and do or say what the Lord leads me to.  But I now realize that there are times when that encouragement is a silent presence.
Joy to you!

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