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The Silent Treatment

“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 2:13, NIV


Friends, I cannot count the number of times I have witnessed someone in grief, over a tragedy or loss of a loved one, have an exchange with someone who simply did not know what to say.  One of two things will take place in that instance: something will be said that brings no comfort at all, or worse yet, something will be said that causes more emotional anguish.


As I read Job 2 the other day for my personal devotion, I was reminded of Job’s immense suffering. He experienced the loss of loved ones, the loss of personal property, he was even afflicted physically with painful sores all over his body. Yet, look at his friends’ reaction!


So what does this passage say to me? I see people around me suffering every day. I come into contact with people who are dealing with painful issues: a cancer diagnosis, a divorce, the loss of a child, the list goes on. So, what do I say? How can I help?


I actually see tremendous wisdom in Job’s friends’ initial response. They SAT with him! That hit me like a ton of bricks! Their mere PRESENCE brought comfort to Job. Wow! The passage goes on to say that they were quiet-not saying a word to him for seven days because they realized how much he was going through. Double wow!


Most oftentimes, we feel as if we HAVE to say something when someone is hurting! But the reality is, comfort can come in one’s presence with no words at all! Yes, it is hard to be quiet, but that can be the best way to minister to those who are hurting. Thank you God for that reminder!

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