Tag Archive: friendship


Ladieeeees aaaaand gentlemen!

Welcome to the main event; the Suffering Weight Boxing championships!

In the red corner weighing 142 pounds, previously wealthy land and livestock owner and former father of ten.  The current Suffering Weight Boxing Champion, from right here in the land of Uz, please welcome Joooooooooooob!

His opponent in the blue corner weighting 143 pounds, one of three pitiful friends of Job.  The chief “comforter” from Teman, please welcome Eliphaaaaaaaaz!

Are you ready to rumblllllllllllllle?

Ding.
Ding.
Ding.

Chapter 15.  Round 2.

Eliphaz starts in again with his accusations, echoing the accusations he brought to the ring in chapter 4.  He didn’t bring any new moves or new punches.  He was a friend coming to Job armed with gloves of blame and mistrust.

Job returns the blows of condemnation from Eliphaz with strikes of emotion and anger.  Calling his friends, and rightly so, “worthless physicians” [Job 13:4] and “miserable comforters.” [Job 16:2]

I can relate to Job’s friends.  I am a miserable comforter.

A dear friend of mine has been recently diagnosed with an aggressive, stage 2 possibly stage 3, form of breast cancer.

When I heard of her diagnosis, I froze.

I longed to go to her but failed.  I wanted to support her but collapsed.  I desired to encourage her but gave up.  I ached to be there for her but fell short.  I had no words and couldn’t process the news, so I didn’t.

I didn’t go to her.  I didn’t cry with her.  I didn’t comfort her.

I didn’t.

“Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given us… if it is encouraging, let him encourage…”   Romans 12:4-6, 8 (niv)

I, like Job’s friends, just shook my head.

Job’s friends, typical guys, wanted to fix things.  They offered suggestions and accusations when all Job wanted was support, encouragement, a strong shoulder and an open ear.

“But if it were me, I would encourage you. I would try to take away your grief.”   Job 16:5 (nlt)

Sometimes there aren’t words.

I don’t have the words to comfort my friend, because I have never been in her shoes.  I don’t know what she’s going through so I can’t possibly tell her so, but I can sit quietly, wrap her in silence and learn from her.

Sometimes we aren’t supposed to fix things.

I can’t give my friend the medicine she needs or take the pain from her, but I can offer my time, my hugs, my tears, my prayers and my love.

“A friend loves at all times…”   Proverbs 17:17

What kind of friend are you?

 

I’m reading slowly through the book of Job.  I have read the Bible all the way through a couple times now in my life [insert happy dance here]

but I have never done an in-depth study of Job.

I’ve always liked Job.

He puts things into perspective when I think I’m having a bad day.  I mean, the poor guy!  All within six verses, a matter of exactly 27 seconds of reading, announcements that come within a period of what could be only minutes of each other; he loses his livelihood and his family.  [Job 1:14-19]

In chapter two, Job is plagued with “loathsome sores” and the one person who is supposed to stand by his side “in sickness and in health” turns against him.  [Job 2:7-9]

Then there are Job’s friends…
Eliphaz the Temanite
Bildad the Shuhite
Zophar the Naamathite

Now I’m only in chapter six so I have only started reading in-depth the counsel of Job’s friends, more specifically Eliphaz who tries to offer words of help and encouragement by suggesting the reason he thinks Job is suffering.

But from what I’ve read so far, Eliphaz is only doing what we all do for our own friends.  We offer our best guess.  Our assumption of what might be happening.  We try to give our best counsel based on things we have experienced ourselves and what might apply to our friend.

I hear all the time how Job’s friends steer him wrong; they are insensitive and give horrible counsel.  Perhaps there will be much more to learn as I continue my study through Job, but as of right now they seem human to me.  They just seem like good guys coming to comfort and help their friend.

What kind of friend are you?

Please take a few minutes to take my friendship survey!  The results will help me see what qualities we find most important in a good friend and how many of us consider ourselves friend savvy.

Click here to take the survey!

Thank you so much for your help!!

 

“Some people come into our lives and quickly go.  Some stay for awhile and leave footprints on our hearts.  And we are never, ever the same.”  -Anonymous

How are you at being a good friend?

I miss the mark more often than not.

A good friend is patient and kind.  She doesn’t get jealous, snotty or rude.  She lets us go first even when it isn’t our turn and doesn’t get angry when we do.  She is always honest with us, dreams with us and walks the long road with us.  She comes when we struggle, weeps with us and encourages us when we are down.  She lends her ear and her shoulder to help bear our burden and sorrow.  Her love never ends.

So often Job’s friends get a bad wrap, and rightly so; they give him bad advice, question his integrity, and accuse him wrongly.  Like us, our friends are not perfect; we all make bad choices, say the wrong things or jump to conclusions.  [Job 4-25]

But we can learn from Job’s friends in how they respond when they hear of their friend’s suffering;

“Now when Job’s three friends heard of all this evil that had come upon him, they came… to show him sympathy and comfort him. And when they saw him from a distance, they did not recognize him. And they raised their voices and wept… And they sat with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his suffering was very great.”   Job 2:11-13

They came.

They wept.

They sat.

What kind of friend are you?

“Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails…”   1 Corinthians 13:4-8

I have spent a weekend, this past weekend, being held in the bosom of our Lord.

I have just spent 48 hours in the embrace of the Almighty.

I have been called to lay back in the quietness of Jesus, the exuberance of the Spirit, and the peace of the Father.

I have been whispered to, smacked upside the head, wrapped tightly, nudged forward, and mightily covered.

“And immediately all the crowd, when they saw him, were greatly amazed and ran up to him and greeted him.”   Mark 9:15

I was surrounded by women this weekend, at the Proverbs 31 Ministries She Speaks Speakers and Writers Conference, who ran along side me to greet Jesus.  He showed up mightily and revealed Himself colorfully.  We sat together within His embrace and under His teaching through amazing women; Luann Prater, Lysa TerKeurst, Renee Swope, Liz Curtis Higgs, and Whitney Capps.

We were filled to overflowing by hearing His words and His promises, then our Lord, who just loves to surprise and thrill us; plopped these like-minded, gorgeous-faced, Jesus-loving, God-fearing women with stunningly beautiful hearts and amazing stories to tell, smack dab in our laps.

These women, these truly separated-at-birth sisters have inspired me, laughed with me, comforted me, celebrated with me, encouraged me, cried with me… I am absolutely in awe, and I praise Him for how He brings lives together and weaves hearts.

Please, if you get a chance, visit these blogs of my new and dear sisters:

Kelly Pankratz

Nicole Ray

Lara Sadowski

Britta Lafont

Michelle Axton Kelly

Mary Beth Hall 

Elizabeth Suess

Melinda Gray

Alyson Brewer

Amy Alves

Misti Spacek

Dawn Mast

I am so thankful to my God.  The One who laid down His life for my own.  The One who orchestrates all things and reveals them in His timing.  The only One worthy of our praise, and oh He is so worthy.

I Spy God writing a note

[IMAGE CREDIT]

This week I had a blank note card sitting on my counter, and because I was lazy and didn’t want to put it away, I decided to jot a little note on it to one of my dearest friends just to say hey and how ya’ doin’.  As I wrote, the note transformed into more of an encouragement letter than a greeting.

I apologized that I don’t live closer and wished that I could be there for her more when she needs a friend.  I was sorry that I haven’t been able to help strengthen her walk with the Lord and give her guidance through God’s Word when she needs it.  But I have been praying for her daily, and that’s all I was able to offer right now.

It became a note letting her know that even though she’s struggling she can always count on me and our God.  ANY TIME.

I read it over again and had second thoughts about sending it.  I didn’t know if she was struggling at all, and if she wasn’t this card would be kinda’ weird.  But…I also figured there’s a reason I wrote all that stuff, because it definitely wasn’t what I had originally planned to pen.  So, I sent it.

A couple days later I got an email:

“Thank you so much for the awesome card. That really made my day. I could go on and on if I had the time to tell you how much it means to me and all the things that have been happening that make me know that you are praying…that God is there with us every step of the way….there are so many things that pop in my head and then some how – an answer comes…through a song maybe on the radio (no kidding, the other day I was really worrying about something – I can’t remember what now of course and a song came on the radio (I only listen to 102.5) and it was amazing…I’ve never heard the song and it was like God was answering me!) I almost cried…amazing. Then I will have thoughts in my head and then…then…there’s your card.”

Oh, I praise God.  Even when we don’t realize He’s working through us…He is!!  I am so honored to serve such a loving, living, wonderful God, and I thank Him for using me!

“Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage–with great patience and careful instruction.”   2 Timothy 4:2

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