Wednesday, January 18, 2012


This is not the post I'd planned for this week's blog. However, I came across something in my devotions that enlarges on last week's blog. (If you missed it, this might make more sense to you if you read it first.)

Drawing from my own experience, I found that the friends of mine who knew what to say, when there were no words, simply came to be with me and pray for me.

Part of my daily Bible reading right now is in Job. Coincidentally a daily devotion I read is Chuck Swindoll going through the same book. He shares a story of excruciating loss, with a similar message of how to sympathize (put yourself in another's shoes) and comfort (make the situation better.)

Some folks know how. Others don't. We all can learn.

Godly people like Job and Joe (in the story below) get down. Even folks like you and me get depressed when life is not fair or becomes desperately hard. Hopefully you have the kind of friend with whom you can let it out, be honest in your pain.

Or maybe you can be the kind of friend others need when they hurt. Job and Joe eventually wished their friends would just leave them alone. My desire is to see you move from being a person folks wish would "just go away" to becoming a friend who comes, sympathizes and comforts, sometimes without words or answers.

May God bless you on that journey,


Charles Swindoll Devotional

God's Presence in Suffering

by Charles R. Swindoll

Read Job 2:11–13

The book of Job is not only a witness to the dignity of suffering and God's presence in our suffering, but

it's also our primary biblical protest against religion that has been reduced to explanations or "answers."

Many of the answers that Job's so-called friends give him are technically true. But it is the "technical"

part that ruins them. They are answers without personal relationship, intellect without intimacy. The

answers are slapped onto Job's ravaged life like labels on a specimen bottle. In response, Job rages

against this secularized wisdom that has lost touch with the living realities of God.

The late (and I might add great) Joe Bayly and his wife, Mary Lou, lost three of their children. They lost

one son following surgery when he was only eighteen days old. They also lost the second boy at age

five because of leukemia. They then lost a third son at eighteen years after a sledding accident, because

of complications related to his hemophilia.

Joe writes in a wonderful book, The Last Thing We Talk About:

I was sitting, torn by grief. Someone came and talked to me of God's dealings, of why it

happened, of hope beyond the grave. He talked constantly; he said things I knew were true.

I was unmoved, except I wished he'd go away. He finally did.

Another came and sat beside me. He didn't talk. He didn't ask leading questions. He just sat

beside me for an hour and more, listened when I said something, answered briefly, prayed

simply, left.

I was moved. I was comforted. I hated to see him go.

You have done it right when those in agony hate to see you go.

We must leave Job in his misery for now. We're mere onlookers. Had we lived in his day, there is

no way we could say, "I know how you feel." We don't. We can't even imagine. But we do care.

Our presence and our tears say much more than our words.

Words have a hollow ring in a crucible.

Reprinted by permission. Day by Day, Charles Swindoll, July 2005, Thomas Nelson, inc.,

Nashville, Tennessee. All rights reserved. Purchase "Day by Day" here.


  1. God bless you, Kathy, for this much needed post.

  2. From my niece,Christine Ellis:

    When you are hurting, you know there are two kinds of people around you. I'm so thankful for the ones who have reached out to me and helped me when I needed it most. This made me think of you...