The Power of Listening

When three of Job’s friends heard of the tragedy he had suffered, they got together and traveled from their homes to comfort and console him. Their names were Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite. When they saw Job from a distance, they scarcely recognized him. Wailing loudly, they tore their robes and threw dust into the air over their heads to show their grief. Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and nights. No one said a word to Job, for they saw that his suffering was too great for words. Job 2:11-13 (NLT)

There is no shame in not knowing the right thing to say in certain circumstances. In fact, it shows great humility, trust, and maturity to not speak rashly and without gathering all the necessary facts. (See Proverbs 18:13) Truth is, there are times in life when Holy Spirit can do more through our yielded quietness than through our best scripted words.

In the Book of Job, we read that his friends came to comfort and console him. Yet, when they arrived, after reading the room, they realized what he needed most was not their words, but simply their presence. They sat with him for seven days and nights without uttering a word. Imagine that! Now, unfortunately, his friends did not stay silent long enough, and when they did speak, they said all the wrong things in the most incorrect ways. But at least they started right.

In the trying and troubling times in which we live, we would do well to prayerfully follow their early example. We are surrounded by people who are dealing with deep and weighty matters. Our friends, family, and community are navigating life-changing circumstances and they need our support. Indeed, we need the support and encouragement of others. Nevertheless, let us not assume that we know what is required in every situation. Take the time to pray and to listen. Take the time to learn another perspective. Take the time to sit with others and simply BE. You just may be amazed at how God can work through your tears, your silence, and your presence. Words do matter, and sometimes, it is the words we never speak that matter most of all.

A well-spoken word at just the right moment is like golden apples in settings of silver. Proverbs 25:11 (VOICE)

Loving and praying for you,
Pastor Danielle

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