Caleb was sick. Really sick! Diagnosed with a nervous system disease, the 5-year-old suffered from temporary paralysis. His anxious parents prayed. And waited. Slowly, Caleb began to recover. Months later, when doctors cleared him to attend school, all Caleb could manage was a slow, unsteady walk.
One day his dad visited him at school. He watched his son haltingly descend the steps to the playground. And then he saw Caleb’s young friend Tyler come alongside him. For the entire recess, as the other kids raced and romped and played, Tyler slowly walked the playground with his frail friend.
Job must have ached for a friend like Tyler. Instead, he had three friends who were certain he was guilty. “Who ever perished, being innocent?” asked Eliphaz (Job 4:7). Such accusations prompted Job to bitterly declare, “Miserable comforters are you all!” (16:2).
How unlike Jesus. On the eve of His crucifixion He took time to comfort His disciples. He promised them the Holy Spirit, who would be with them forever (John 14:16), and assured them, “I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you” (v. 18). Then, just before He returned to His Father, He said, “I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:20).
The One who died for us also walks with us, step by painstaking step.
Father, we tend to say too much to our hurting friends. Help us choose our words wisely. Teach us to walk slowly with those in pain, as You walk patiently with us.
Sometimes the best way to be like Jesus is to sit quietly with a hurting friend.
The story of how Job wrestled with tragedy and how he struggled to understand God’s role in the apparent injustices of life is well known. Job and his three friends (Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite) engage in a series of debates to try to come to terms with life’s great heartaches. In Job 16, Job responds to more charges from Eliphaz who says Job’s suffering is punishment for wickedness (see 15:17-35). The issues of suffering and injustice do not always find resolution in this life, regardless of our attempts to explain them away. In the end, the wise response is to say that “the secret things belong to the