A True friend: Lessons from Job

So someone has let the sock monster, who usually inhabits the dryers in our local laundromat stealing my socks, loose in my apartment apparently and I’ve noticed that a whole bunch of my clothing has gone missing. Last night, while I tried to add pleats to one of those unlucky skirts that hasn’t gone missing, unlucky because its plain white and ill fitting, I decided to download the Bible.is app on my Iphone.

While I have heard from a few people that they spend more time listening to the bible with apps like Bible.is rather than stopping to read it, I am not judging how you get you Bible fix as long as your actively taking time to get it I’m happy and I know God is too, I’d never really tried listening to it myself. I usually put on a Disney movie or some other musical so that I can listen and sing along while I craft my heart out. I once listened to a free audio book, Divergent if you were wondering, and while it seemed like a decent idea I HATE when strong female heroines fall in love the moment they see a guy despite someone constantly trying to kill them. I just sit there and while its a sweet idea and while I’m in that “I wonder who my future husband is, I wonder what he’s like, I wonder what kind of a wife I’ll be” stage I just can’t wrap my head around still finding the guy standing next to you attractive when someone is shooting at you or threatening your family. Then again I’ve never been in a life threatening situation like that, Thank God, and I’ve never met a guy who makes me feel all warm inside and inspires me to be brave enough to do the seemingly impossible at the same time. That’s a different post all together though.

Anyway, last night as I (unsuccessfully) tried to add pleats to the skirt I listened to around 14 chapters of Job with the Bible.is app. In our Sunday classes we’ve been given chapters from the book of Job to learn the attributes of God and see and understand who He is in our lives. I chose to listen to Job not only because we’re using it on Sundays but because I realized that I knew his story but I had never really stopped to read it myself. The struggle of growing up a Christian. Some people think its the easiest thing in the world, but its no easier than leaving the world behind and giving your heart to Christ. In my experience growing up in the church, I spent so much time listening to preacher, going to Sunday School, in services, with church brothers and sisters that its easy to say you “know” the Bible. I knew that the bible said that Jesus said he would give us His peace, not like the world offers peace but His true peace. Don’t ask me where that was though, I wouldn’t have been able to tell you. 

It wasn’t until I realized that I didn’t know as much as I thought and took the time to look for it myself, John 14:27 by the way, that I started to dedicate myself to finding the things I “knew” for myself.

Last night I found myself awed, and slightly confused, by Job and his story. This was a man whom God himself said “There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright” (Job 1:8). Makes you wonder doesn’t it, If someone went straight to God to ask them about me, what would God say?

God had blessed Job in many ways and that was the first thing the enemy went after, he took all his riches, all his livestock, all his servants, AND his 10 children. He was just there and one after another messengers came with their bad news. He literally lost it all in a matter of moments. And yet he didn’t get mad and ask God “WHY!?” He understood that he was nothing compared to God and he had no control over anything, that it was all in Gods hands. Even after he got sick, he still didn’t curse God.

What really just awed me about it all were his 3 “friends.” Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar all seemed to be pretty shaken up about their friends troubles when they show up. “When they say him from a distance, they could hardly recognize him; they began to weep aloud, and they tore their robes and sprinkled dust on their heads” (Job 2:12). They seem pretty shaken up don’t they? I mean I could understand their pain and panic at seeing their friend like that. When I was in high school and I’d just started really getting close with my own best friend she got really sick. My best friend is always sick, haha, if its not asthma she’s got a cold, but that time it was different. I was so worried for her. She was, and quite frankly still is, my other half, how could I survive high school without her.  

See now here’s where Job’s friends really go wrong. When my best friend was in the hospital I prayed, at the time, like I had never prayed before. I asked God a million times to make her better, I begged him to take whatever it was she had and send it far far away and never let it come back. I was like 15 and this was when I “knew” the Bible and God from what I’d heard growing up. I remember saying “God, In church everyone is always talking about you being the one that has the last word and the best doctor we have. They pray for their sons and daughters who don’t serve you when they get sick. I don’t have any kids but I have my best friend and she’s a good person. She might not be here in church but you love everyone right?” My friend may never know that I prayed for her during that time, and that my prayer put Gods eyes on her and His mercy on her, or that I pray for her and her family to be happy, healthy, and safe every chance I get but I do it anyway.

Because friendship is not a mutual benefits program. You don’t become someones friend because of what they can give you. Friends help each other, spend time with each other, laugh with each other, cry with each other, friends remain friends even when one of them has nothing in their pockets. At least their supposed to.

Job’s friends sat with him and saw all that had happened to him and their first instinct was to judge him. They told him that all the things that had happened to him were saved as consequence for a mans wickedness. They said that he must have done something wrong for all this to come upon him. Zophar said “You say to God ‘My beliefs are flawless and I am pure in your sight.’ Oh how I wish that God would speak, that he would open his lips against you” (Job 11:4-5). Though Job defended himself and was honest that he had not sinned against God his friends judged him. For them that was the only good reason they could see for God to bring such pain on Job.

It is terribly heart breaking when someone who says they are your friend betrays you. Its worse when you realize someone that “cares” about you actually thinks your a terrible person. Imagine what Job must have been going through. His friends show up in his time of need and instead of trying to comfort him they tell him he should just admit he’s a sinner and that’s why all this happened to him.

When you are at your worst, when your is heart broken, when you have nothing left to give, when rock bottom is not even enough to describe the place you’ve found yourself, cry out to Jesus. There is hope in him. If you are blameless or if you have sinned, if you come to him with a humbled heart and show with your actions that you believe and rely wholly on him, Jesus will answer. He will be your friend when you have no one to comfort you. He will not judge you, He will not constantly remind you what you did, He will take your sin and send it to the depths of the seas and never remember them.

He will love you.

And love is more than anything that anyone could ask for.


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