The ministry of presence
Job 2:13 So they sat down with him upon the ground seven days and seven nights, and none spake a word unto him: for they saw that his grief was very great.
There is much to be said about Job, and how Satan brought destruction and disease to his life. How his fear opened the door, how in his affliction, he stood, as in the day of his prosperity, alone, and without compare in the earth.
Notice here Jobs comforters. Much has been said, about how wrong they were in their evaluation of the reasons for Job’s distress, but in this passage, they did right. They saw the destruction that had occurred in Job’s life, and they did what very few seemed to have learned these days: they did not speak! They simply sat with him, their presence attempting to bring some solace to a grief torn soul.
Some years ago, I was called to minister to a woman, who’s mother had died, and who had been very traumatized by a series of horrible events in her life. There was so much I wanted to say, as my wife and I would visit her, but Holy Spirit would put a zip on my lip, and I would simply, quietly sit with her.
Even that appeared too much for her, so I would lift her up in fervent prayer, crying out for God to do what no man could do, heal her, give her hope and an future. One day when I was praying, I saw a picture of her, and it seemed that all of her skin had been burnt away. I was reminded of a medical procedure I had heard of for victims of third degree burns, where the victim was immersed in some sort of fluid, while the skin grew back. That any touch to the person before that, caused them excruciating pain.
In the picture the Lord showed me that as I prayed, this woman was being immersed in the Holy Spirit, and His comfort was the healing she needed.
I did not see her for a couple of years, but when I did, I was amazed! She had married, and was the very joyful mother of two beautiful children! Truly God had turned her mourning into joy!
Sometimes, all we can do after tragedy, is simply be there, then quietly pray for the afflicted, from a distance. God’s love and healing, go deeper than anyone’s deepest pain. Jesus is Lord!
I read an article about Job’s wife that was thought provoking, extolling the virtues of Job’s wife.
The Scripture is unclear what happened to Job’s wife at the end of the story, but this author quoted believes she lived through Job’s trial (personally, I am not so sure). Here’s what they said:
“While we weep with Job, we miss the faithful, steady presence of his wife. She put aside her own grief to stay care for her husband. Imagine the exhausting drain, caring for a suffering soul like Job. Imagine the loud howls of agony, hour after hour, day after day. Imagine the one you love walking the thin line of sanity, suffering excruciating, debilitating pain.
Job’s wife continued this mission of mercy without the resources of a helpful support network, without any financial resources, without relief. Their children were gone, their friends and family scattered, her God seemingly absent.”
In any case, there is a love and comfort from Holy Spirit available in our deepest trial, a peace that passes all understanding, a love that endures, faithfully to the end, stronger than death…
‘Father, I come to you now, asking that you use my life, in loving your people. In situations of extreme horror, may I remain and instrument of peace and prayer, even when words cannot be spoken to the person yet, in your name I pray Lord Jesus, Amen’