Category

Devotions

Category

Job is one of the finest characters in the Old Testament; he was committed to his family, he was faithful to Yahweh, and his resilience to suffering is commendable.

However, Job’s friends are criticized harshly for their lack of finesse regarding Job’s torment. At one point, even Job refers to them as miserable comforters (Job 16:2, NRSV). However, Job 2:12–13 reveals a redeeming characteristic and a compelling twist of their attempt to comfort their friend:

When they saw him from a distance, they did not recognize him, and they raised their voices and wept aloud; they tore their robes and threw dust in the air upon their heads … 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.

The grief Job was experiencing changed his countenance and he was unrecognizable to this best friends. Nevertheless, the devotion that Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar demonstrated toward their friend Job is both heart-rending and commendable.

How Did Job’s Friends Minister?

  • They humbled themselves to empathize with Job’s suffering and became allies between their friend and his grief.
  • They did not force Job to end his mourning, but they joined him. (Romans 12:15, Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep).
  • The allocated as much time needed to remain by his side during his abased disposition.

Job’s friends can teach anyone the basics of comforting someone you love: spend ample time with the grieving heart, even if it is in the silence.

If you know someone who is hurting let them know that you are there, not only by saying, “I’m here for you,” but by visiting them. It is possible that you may not have a conversation, but your presence will be an encouragement. Do not allow silence to intimidate you from ministering to someone who is grieving, it is in these times that actions often speak louder than words.

 

The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18.

God is drawn to the proximity of your brokenness and if your spirit is crushed, He is ready to save you.

Grieving can make your world tremble and paralyze your voice. Suffering losses, whether it is the repercussions of a national disaster or the passing of a loved one, can pillage language by stealing your ability to articulate what emotions and sentiments you’ve experienced.

Another aspect of known language is when a person can define a word, but has never experienced its meaning. For instance, the literary devices of past, present, and future tense are fundamental to the formation of sentence structures and considered elementary. However, what do you do when the present-tense phrase, “I love” turns to the past tense phrase, “I loved.” The fundamental parts of speech are no longer elementary, but compounded into emotional responses you cannot prepare for.

Express Yourself

Vocalizing the depth of our brokenness can be next to impossible at times. How can someone articulate the complexities of their emotion into words? Thankfully, God knows the cry of your heart and the pain you have experienced. We serve a God who knows the language of grief and who is touched by the feeling of our infirmities. If you are hurting today, take your pain to the Lord in prayer; He can help carry your burdens.

Prayer: Lord, I pray that I when I feel brokenness and crushed in my spirit that I would feel You near me. Surround me, oh Lord, when I do not know how to pray. Comfort me when I feel alone and afraid. Help me to know that You are with me in the valleys of life. And, I pray that you will remind me that You will never leave or forsake me.

Remember the days of old; consider the generations long past. Ask your father and he will tell you, your elders, and they will explain to you. Deuteronomy 32:7

My mom worked in a Retirement Home when I was growing up. I have many memories of bringing my classical piano books to play songs for anyone who desired to listen. Walking through those hallways with my mother, I learned the valuable lesson to honor my elders and to take time to listen to their stories—they hold much wisdom.

Several of my mom’s patients had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and I didn’t understand the complications of their life, but I remember looking into their eyes and seeing confusion.

Maybe you have experienced this terrible disease inflict someone close to you and you are learning how to navigate life with a person who has made you a stranger. You may be heartbroken—so are they, but they do not know why.

Alzheimer’s robs an individual of their memories and as a result, they may react in fear and frustration to a family member or close friend who walks into their room.

This is understandable…

The Power of Memories

  • How can you navigate life if you cannot remember your past.
  • How can you have peace in your future, if you cannot remember where you have been?

I’m sure those with this degenerative disease would love to have all of their memories—even the bad ones, because without the positive and negative together, it is difficult to understand a persons blessings, victories, healing, and successes.

If you have the power to remember, then stop trying so hard to forget.

Everything that you have been through has brought you to this place. There may be parts of your story you would like to forget, but those dark moments have brought you to where you are right now. Your former sins have brought you to grace. Your past, whatever it may be, has revealed that God has better plans for your future.

Do not despise your history, your past, your failures, or your memories. Instead, be grateful that you can use those for the glory of God.

I shall remember the deeds of the LORD; Surely I will remember Your wonders of old. Psalm 77:11

Allow your past to shape a better future for you and your family. Take some time today to share what God has done for you, because your memories and your testimony holds power.