Many of our friends and family members are in the whirlwind right now. We've all had our share of whirlwinds. We wonder which way is up and which way is down. It seems like every aspect of life is chaotic. Things are hurled at us left and right. We trip, tumble, and get battered and bruised. Inertia - we fall again and again. We get caught by unseen obstacles. We're at a constant ten emotionally, so small things become huge things because all of the things are huge things. Life in the whirlwind.
If you know of friends and family that are in this spot - what is a way that you can help center their focus on Jesus?
Yes, Bible study. Now, many of you know that I love to help people to explore the Bible. More than just telling them what to believe, I love to help people see it for themselves through inductive Bible study. So, you can bet that I'm probably going to say that getting people into the Word of God. Bible is a win.
Yep, it's always a win to pray for people.
Yet, we've learned through our own tornadoes the refuge of gospel-driven discipline of with-ness and the destruction of trite words spoken at the wrong time.
let's explore the concept of
Sitting in silence.
Weeping with the mourning.
Asking the Spirit to direct when you talk and when you just need to give an embrace.
Ah, the lost art of with-ness. Sure, while "God works all things together for the good of those whom he's called..." and reminding someone that God is sovereign may be great things to eventually say, what if it just isn't the right time to say them yet?
Do you feel me?
Perhaps the most meaningful thing that Job's friends did was spending those seven days with him.
Look at Job 2:
11 Now when Job’s three friends heard of all this evil that had come upon him, they came each from his own place, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite. They made an appointment together to come to show him sympathy and comfort him.
12 And when they saw him from a distance, they did not recognize him. And they raised their voices and wept, and they tore their robes and sprinkled dust on their heads toward heaven.
13 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.
then they opened their mouths
Chapter after chapter in Job, his friends offer what they thought, no doubt, were helpful and truthful statements. Yet, they got verbally and theologically slapped by Job and eventually by God at the end of the book. The words of the friends were wrong.The words of the friends were at the wrong time.They spent seven days with him in silence, then they opened their mouths.
Do you know someone that is in the whirlwind of suffering? They are walking in the dry and weary land. Then, they're being pelted by a whirlwind of a sandstorm, hitting them with every step of faith that they try to take.
May I humbly suggest to you, just be with them.
Let them cry, scream, or even a combination of ugly cry, scream, and shout at you.
Let them know that you don't want to talk, you just want to be with them.
Let them know that you're ready to pray, silently, while you're with them.
As you pray, I know that the Lord will give you the words, dripping with the empathy and passion of our Savior rather than true words that aren't what is needed in the moment.
It's the Christmas season, Christian. Hordes of people around you are hurting. May a gift that you give during your hustle and bustle be the gift of with-ness.