It is hard when people we love suffer. We want to fix it – because we don’t want them to suffer. We don’t understand why suffering happens to those we love. What do those that are suffering really need from us? There is one thing they need, and it isn’t what you think.
The Number One Thing Your Suffering Friend Needs
What do suffering people need? They just need you to listen. When Job’s friends came -at first, they were quiet. They sat and they waited for him to speak. That would have been customary for the time that they lived in. How we could learn from that today! If when the people we love our suffering, we just went and sat.
Yet, when Job begins to speak – instead of just listening – they add their thoughts.
Their thoughts are wrong. Way wrong.
We need to come to grips with the fact that we are not God. We can not be the ones to determine if there is sin in the lives of others. When people we care about are suffering- they just need us to listen. They don’t need us to tell them that they are wrong. They don’t need us to fix it.
They need us to listen. To hold them and to let them cry.
They don’t need to hear that God’s timing is perfect. Either they believe that or they don’t- but that might be salt in a wound. You meant it well, but as soon as you said it, they shut you out. Not because you words were wrong- but because they weren’t what they needed.
They don’t need to hear that they have sinned. If they have- it is between them and God. You are not the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit is powerful. He can work and convict- He doesn’t need your help.
They might not even have words. All they might have is tears- adn that is okay. It is okay to cry with them. To pray with them- but the number one thing they need from you is to know you are listening.
You will show them you love them and that you are there for them by listening.
Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. (James 1:19-20 ESV)
Do you know someone who is hurting today? Instead of offering words of encouragement – offer them the encouragement of silence in their presence.
If you are just joining us, go on back to the beginning of my study on Job!
Be sure to check out the other Good Morning Girls Leadership Team:
Worshiping With My Life,