Sitting with Our Pain

When Job when through the worst time of his life, some of his friends came for a visit and sat with him while he grieved. They cried out in lament, ripped their robes and dumped dirt on their heads to show their grief with poor Job. They sat in silence with him for seven days, saying not one word that entire time. It’s remarkable to think they not only stayed for a whole week but didn’t talk at all.

The other amazing part of this story is Job having three such dedicated and selfless friends. It’s rare to have friends or be a friend like that. The only friend I know who would sit with me in my pain, for days on end or even months or years, is Jesus. I learned something about my friend and my pain – he won’t force himself into my pain, but I can invite him to sit with me.

In Self to Lose, Self to Find, Marilyn Vancil suggests we can invite Jesus into the middle of whatever we’re experiencing, be it negative emotions and feelings, pain or grief. I guess I can be a little slow, as I hadn’t thought of doing this before, but I tried it last time I went through a tough day and found it quite uplifting and encouraging. To know he shared my suffering, with no guilt trips or recriminations, lifted my spirit and my burden. What a friend we have in Jesus indeed.