Too Great For Words

Job 2:1
No one said a word to Job, for they saw that his suffering was too great
for words (v.13).

The pot roast was still steaming in the pan as I
arranged carrots, onions, and potatoes around its
perimeter and then ladled broth over the whole
creation. I nestled it into a basket along with some
bread, fruit salad, and cookies for dessert. The meal was
for a family in our church that was grieving a deeply
painful loss. My heart was heavy as I loaded everything
into my car. I rehearsed what I might say to the family
members, but nothing seemed appropriate.

It’s difficult to know how to comfort hurting people.
When Job’s children died and his wealth and health
vanished, three of his friends tried to ease his sadness.
To show their support, they “traveled from their homes to
comfort and console him” (v.11). Sometimes, just being
present communicates care to heartbroken people.
The Bible also calls us to empathize with those in
pain—to “weep with those who weep” (Romans 12:15).
Job’s friends approached him wailing loudly. “They tore
their robes . . . to show their grief. Then they sat on the
ground with him for seven days and nights” (Job 2:12-
13). They were willing to meet Job in the valley of his
sorrow and become “likeminded” with him.

As they mourned together, no one said a word to
Job because they saw that his suffering was “too great
for words” (v.13). Being silent reduces the chance that
we’ll say the wrong thing—which Job’s buddies did later
on. Their words were so upsetting that Job exclaimed, “Listen . . . to what I am
saying. That’s one consolation you can give me” (21:2). Listening to people lets
them know we care.

If you know someone who is grieving, drop by for a visit, engage in their pain,
and listen when they’re ready to talk. God can use you to bless those who mourn,
so that they will be comforted (Matthew 5:4). —Jennifer Benson Schuldt

Read 2 Corinthians 1:3 to see how we can use our own experiences
with suffering to comfort others. Read Isaiah 61:1 to see God’s
heart for those who mourn.

What might prevent you from reaching out to hurting people? What
are some ways you could communicate God’s love to a grieving friend?