When I think of suffering, Job is the first name that comes to my mind. And when you read through this part of the book:
“When Job’s three friends, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite, heard about all the troubles that had come upon him, they set out from their homes and met together by agreement to go and sympathize with him and comfort him. When they saw him from a distance, they could hardly recognize him; they began to weep aloud, and they tore their robes and sprinkled dust on their heads. Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights. No one said a word to him, because they saw how great his suffering was.” Job 2:11-13 (NIV)
One thing jumps out to me. Sometimes we have a tendency to want to help people who are suffering. Thats good… we should. But when someone is sitting there in front of you going through something so painful that you can’t even comprehend, what do you say to them? Job’s friends had it right. Sometimes the best thing to do is to just say nothing. Just being there in the room may be all that they want or need from you. It doesn’t help them for you to try and string some fancy words together in a few sentences that explain their suffering.
This is just something that I was thinking about and will try to apply to my own life the next time someone I know is suffering. Feel free to comment and share some of your thoughts.