Read Job 2:11
They made an appointment together to come to show him sympathy and comfort him.
• Is your life open enough to comfort a friend in need?
• Job's friends sacrificed their own comfort and convenience to help a friend in need. Are you that kind of friend, too?
• We can look to others to remind us in times of trouble that we are not alone. Have you done this?
Even in ancient times, news traveled. We learn in verse 11 that Job's three friends Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar had heard of the tragedies that occurred in his life. Their response went beyond simply sending a message of sympathy or adding Job to their temple's prayer list. They took action. Specifically, they went to Job to comfort him.
Given how their names are listed, it's likely the three friends lived in different areas. They had to make arrangements to travel and for someone to attend to their affairs while they were gone. They met at some central point and then traveled together to see Job.
Stop for a moment and think about how you would respond in their circumstances. We are blessed to live in a time when communication and travel are much easier. Yet are our lives open enough so that we can drop everything to respond to a friend in need?
The comfort of a friend soothes the soul like nothing else. Friends share in our pain and comfort us with their hugs, words, prayers, and silent presence. A friend can give us hope when we are hopeless.
Perhaps more than anything else, they remind us that we are not alone. As Solomon notes in Ecclesiastes 4:10 (ESV), two are better than one because, "if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!" In modern times, people struggling with various issues from domestic violence to depression to grief, find comfort and encouragement in formal support groups. The power of these groups largely stems from their ability to reinforce the truth that the sufferer is not alone.
If you are struggling with hurt today, please be encouraged that you are not alone. Seek out others who can come alongside you and give you the support you need. That may be through friends, family, or even a formal support group.
Also be encouraged by Job's friends to reach out to those around you. Do you see someone hurting today? You may be the one God is calling to comfort that person.
Lord, times of trouble can trick me into thinking that I'm alone. I ask You to help me graciously accept the help of friends and to always remember that I'm not alone. Amen.