If you didn’t read last week’s blog post, better catch up HERE 🙂 Come right back after you read it! Thank you, friend!
I hope I didn’t present Job’s friends as the picture of godly friendships – they made some mistakes, but Job did keep them around. That’s a lesson in itself, isn’t it? We don’t get “done” with people, even though seasons may change.
Job’s friends get a bad rap, but I honestly think that they meant well, and there are even words they say that are true –
“God is famous for great and unexpected acts; there’s no end to His surprises” 5:9
“what a blessing when God steps in and corrects you” 5:17
“Does God mess up? Does God Almighty ever get things backward?” 8:2
“God will set everything right again, reestablish your fortunes” 8:6
“God is far higher than you can imagine, far deeper than you can comprehend” 11:7
Isn’t God full of surprises? Yes! Isn’t it a blessing when God offers His correction? Surely, it is motivated by His love and care for us. Does He ever gets things wrong? No, never! Will He set everything right again when His children are hurt? Every single time!
I do think they mean well, but it is almost as if they are speaking without the experience of deep pain. They want to point out God’s goodness, but then immediately connect Job’s troubles to Job’s behavior. They cannot seem to understand why these things would happen when a God whom they know as good is on the throne. They’ve got to explain it away by calling Job’s test a punishment. It’s as if they want to plug God into a “if you’ll do this, He’ll do that” formula, but life isn’t that simple.
Sometimes friends are trying to help, and don’t know how to do it – forgive them. Sometimes friends don’t know how to help, so they ignore the situation (and possibly you) altogether – forgive them. Don’t shy away from relationship, using past hurts as an excuse. Trust that the relationship will give you the opportunity to grow, and the Lord will fill in the blanks. Even when there must be a loss of relationship (sometimes it must be), trust Jesus to give you the continuity of community that you desire.
Godly friendships are a treasure – praying you and yours stick together through thick and thin ❤