JOB AND HIS GRIEF
There are several ways to go with Job 4 to 7. Cosmically, there is the scene between God and Satan. Earthly, there is the scene with Job and his three friends. Then there is Job himself, the individual. His grief was boundless, “If only my anguish could be weighed and all my misery be placed on the scales! It would surely outweigh the sands of the seas.” (Job 6: 2-3) This man was in deep grief. He had lost ten children. He had lost everything he had ever worked for. He would never see his grandchildren. What was he going to do to support himself?
When someone is going through grief, unlike Job’s friends, there should be no condemnation. Do like Job’s friends did at first, just sit and wait, grieve with them. Sometimes just knowing someone is there is very comforting. Be there for one another. When they are ready, they will speak. Listen without condemning. Sometimes people need to verbalize their pain, but aren’t sure of what to say, so be gracious and let them vent. They may vent badly and lash out, as Job seems to do, but don’t condemn and don’t be offended because they are mad at the situation, not mad at you.
Do something practical. Give a hug and tell them you are there for them. Don’t try to fix their problem or give advice. Send a card. Take them a meal. But don’t forget them after a few days thinking they will be alright. People heal at different times. Grief can hit you minute-by-minute, hourly, daily, or, after an extended period of time, it can hit you out of the blue. That first holiday will be hard, as will that first birthday without them. Encourage them, include them, don’t smother them. Galatians 6:2, “Carry each other’s burdens.”