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  • Consolation

    Posted on May 24th, 2012 rhonda No comments

    Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights.

    No one said a word to him, because they saw how great his suffering was.

    Job 2:13


    As of this writing, I’m going through a really difficult situation, which I feel a lot of anger, anxiety, and shame about.   Since the situation unfolded, I’ve gotten varying levels of responses from different people.  Some people were truly comforting, and other people poured salt in the wound.  There are a lot of people I haven’t told, because I already know they will pour salt.

    Sympathy is my word of wisdom for this day.  That’s the spirit in which Job’s friends visited him (Job 2:11-13).  They just went to sit with him in a show of support & comfort.  They got into trouble when they opened their mouths to speak.  I started to ask myself why, in times of great trouble, there are some people I tell immediately, and there are others that I inform after the event is over.  I realize that the people I talk to immediately are the people who console me by letting me know that God is in control and that, ultimately, He will take care of me.

    The people I avoid fall into a couple of categories.  First, there are people who want me to relate the details of the disturbing event.  They can’t do anything to help me, but they want to make me re-live the trauma by making me re-tell it, for no other purpose but to satisfy their curiosity.

    The 2nd category of people make me feel condemned.  They pick over the details and let me know what I did wrong in the situation; or they let their own pessimism & fear overwhelm them.  They look into my future & give me gloom & doom reports.

    The 3rd class of folks are the people who want to give advice.  I wish they would trust me to ask for advice if I wanted it.  Sometimes I don’t.  Sometimes I’m not ready to absorb & act on it.  Sometimes I already have adequate information.  Sometimes I feel like I have better advisors than the person who is so eager to share.

    I praise God, because at least through this ordeal, He’s teaching me how to be sympathetic to others.