I had written 1,118 posts on my blog (including this one). But there’s one post out of all of them that keeps showing up in my page views. Virtually every day, it has someone who reads it. Sitting Like Job’s Friends. I wrote it over ten years ago following the death of the young son of one of my seminary friends. It was my wrestlings of how I was feeling as we traveled for the funeral. It was about how Job’s friends had it right for their first few days they were with him. They saw the suffering that he had and according to Job 2:11, they came to see Job after they heard of all that had befallen him and in verse 13 we read that “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.”
They sat with Job for a silent lament. Then they started to speak and things go sideways. But let’s stay with them sitting with Job. They, in those seven days, did what they were able to do. They couldn’t fix the problem, they couldn’t bring back Job’s loss. But then, as I shared, they started talking and trying to explain it and find the reasons behind what happened. Oh how I wish they just stayed silent there with their friend.
In Luke 5, we have another person in need and another group of friends. In this case, they (at least in the story we have) don’t try to explain away their friend’s paralysis. They instead do all that they can to bring their friend before Jesus. They literally make a hole in the roof and lower their friend down hoping that Jesus could heal their friend.
This speaks directly to me today as I got heartbreaking news last night from a dear friend of mine who has made a tremendous impact in my life. She wrote a group of us and shared that she was just told of a recurrence of cancer. I immediately thought of Job’s friends sitting silently with him and then of these friends in Luke 5 tearing a hole in the roof. I prayed these two images in lament, grief, and hope for my friend – us sitting silently with her with just ministering with presence and then us tearing a hole in the roof and lowering her before Jesus for healing.
So, my friend, as we are all a distance away from you, know that we sit with you in lament and we will tear holes in roofs for you to bring you before the great healer.