Job 2:13, “Then they sat down on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights with no one speaking a word to him, for they saw that his pain was very great.”
These friends that sat with Job in silence for 7 days were the same friends who were not very gentle in their words to him for many chapters throughout this book. Nonetheless, it gives me great pause to think that these guys travelled for several days to be with Job at the lowest point in his life. When they saw how despondent he was, they sat with him for 7days without saying anything.
Their behavior really challenges me to consider if I’m this kind of a friend who could sit quietly with a friend in their greatest time of suffering. This is the idea of keeping company with someone even when they aren’t very pleasant or enjoyable. It begs the question, “Am I a ‘fair-weather’ friend, or am I reliable in the skinny / thin times?” Consider Matt 26:38 & Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane.
It seems to me that we aren’t very comfortable sitting with someone when they’re suffering or struggling, but sometimes, keeping company with a friend in a hardship is a tangible expression of genuine love.
I like what Mother Teresa said, ““Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.””
We had a trampoline when I was growing up & I really loved learning tricks to do on the tramp. The only exception was when I tried to learn a back flip & wound up unconscious on the ground. As a result, to this day I have this innate opposition to anything backwards (back flips on diving boards, backstroke, reverse driving, etc). But here’s an interesting thing that I’m pondering: I wonder if my reliance on the Holy Spirit isn’t stronger when I do things that don’t seem as easy or natural to me. It seems like when I find things to be easy, I tend to rely less on the Holy Spirit than when things are difficult. While this initially feels awkward & uncomfortable, I wonder if there’s not huge spiritual benefits to doing some things in a less easy or natural progression. Maybe the Holy Spirit leads us in ways, on occasion, that don’t seem as natural, convenient or easy as we’d like.
I do like walking through garbage dumps in Cambodia to find helpless babies, but I don’t like figuring out stuff about makeup (mascara, blush, etc)
I do like studying biblical Greek and Hebrew but I don’t like office administrative work
I do like dreaming about helping babies in Somalia and the DRC with Saving Moses, but I don’t like the stupid hoops we have to jump through to get visas to help these babies
I do like giving the babies of prostitues a safe, clean and loving place to sleep (nightcare) while their moms work but I don’t like getting criticized for empowering prostitution
If you’re like me, our lives are mixed up with lots of things we enjoy and lots of things, not so much. I find that if I embrace the things I don’t like as much (makeup, administrative work, visa applications, criticism), I will often get to see and experience things about God that I never knew. Don’t miss the chance to know God better by rejecting things that might be inconvenient or uncomfortable 🙂
Tonight at our church, my husband & I are talking about sex. We’re splitting the audience so he’ll take the guys & I’ll take the chicks. For some quick insight, I HATEtalking about this subject. In high school, I scheduled all of my orthodontist appointments to happen during the human sexuality class. Nevertheless, it’s a really important topic and the society in which I live seems to be more & more hyper-sexual.
As I’ve been thinking about what to say, I’ve found it really encouraging that the Bible is not mute on this topic. In fact, it has lots to say about it & you might consider looking into a few of the following references for some reflection: Leviticus 18, Matt 5:27-29, Rom 1:21-32, 1 Cor 6:12-20 & 1 Cor 7:1-5
Of course I could turn this particular post into something steamy & controversial, but I’d prefer to let the Bible do the talking for me on this topic. Of course you are very free & entirely accurate to call me chicken 🙂
Sometimes I think that comfort can be debilitating. Comfort can be the path of least resistance, the lack of stretching and sometimes the lack of growing. It’s definitely possible that when Jesus, the Son of God, was a newborn that He was uncomfortable – but all to our benefit!
I find that when I get in uncomfortable situations, if I lean into the Holy Spirit, I’m not nearly as uncomfortable. I may be stretched, pushed to grow, improve and get stronger. But ultimately if I have to make a choice, I’d rather grow, get stronger, improve and mature than remain comfortable, even in this busy Christmas season 🙂
Being comfortable conjures up different things for different people. For some people, being comfortable can be the experience of sitting by a fireplace in a cozy blanket & reading a book. For other people, being comfortable is best described as being at a really fun and vibrant party. For me, I’ve been thinking about what it means to be comfortable and I’ve learned some interesting things to pass along to you:
being comfortable can sometimes be an impediment to a deeper relationship with God – discomfort usually makes me do something different
I never want my comfort zones to exclude God – indeed, life with God is a more accurate expression of who I really am
I’ve learned that I can be extremely comfortable in a variety of external situations because of an internal contentment that comes from some very sweet & rich communion with God
when I’m uncomfortable, I tend to lean into God better