Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Friends During Hard Times

Today I read an email requesting another post. I called a friend to get an update from his wife on his health condition and their struggle with getting government funding. Recently, I had to apply for health funding myself, for new hearing aids. In both of our cases, we had white collar jobs and insurance. Due to different reasons, we found ourselves in a place we have never been before, needing assistance.

If any of you are following my son’s blog, then you have read “That’s What Family is For”. If not, take a look: That's What Family Is For. (While you are there, go ahead and read some of his other blog. They are good! :) )

When you are struggling physically, financially, emotionally or spiritually; it is during this time when you will out who your friends are. This same friend and his wife have been there for me through many of my hard times. They listened to my story, they wept with me, they got angry with me, they prayed with me, sent encouragement cards and they even provided financial help when I needed it. Now, they need help. Although I cannot provide financial help, I can pray, listen and provide emotional support.

As I was writing this, I was reminded of a story in Job 2:11-13 NIV

“When Job's three friends, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite, heard about all the troubles that had come upon him, they set out from their homes and met together by agreement to go and sympathize with him and comfort him.

When they saw 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.

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.”

These friends set out from their home, met and set off on a journey to provide comfort to a friend in need. A man who was blameless and upright. A man who feared God and shunned evil. A man whom God blessed through the work if this man’s hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land (Job :10b, NIV) A man who God allowed to be put to the test by Satan himself. But Satan was not to lay a finger on the man himself.

The first test, Job had lost all his livestock, his servants, and his sons and daughters who were drinking and feasting at his oldest brother’s house. After Job was told of all this, he went into mourning by tearing off his robe, shaving his head, and fell to the ground. But he did not blame God for any of this wrongdoing.

Satan was not happy because Job maintained his integrity and God allowed Satan to give Job another test. God had given Satan permission, but Satan was to spare Job’s life.

This time Satan “afflicted Job with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the top of his head” (Job 2:7, NIV). Then Job took a piece of pottery and cut himself with the pottery as he sat in ashes and mourned.

His wife could not understand why Job would hang on to his integrity and not cursed God. So she went out to asked Job, “why?” Job replied, “You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” (Job 2:10) Job’s integrity remain intact as he did not blame God for this illness.

I can only imagine what some of you may be thinking at this point. If a person has lost all his assets, been afflicted with an illness like Job has and tumbled into deep despair, how could he maintain his integrity with God? God knew Job’s heart and Job knew God.

Now we come to the scripture where Job’s friends saw him from a distance and barely recognized Job due to his sores. They tore off their robes and sprinkle dust on their heads in mourning as this was their custom. Then they sat with him without saying a word. They were not afraid that they too may get sores like Job had. They were there for him and mourned with him as friends.

Therefore, when we are in trouble, we will find out who are friends are. Which friend will sit down beside us and be there with and for us. Not only friends, but family too. I give thanks to God for my friends and families who have been there for me and I am happy to be there for them as well when they need a friend, a sister, a daughter, or a mother.

The best friend of all is God/Jesus/Spirit. God knows your heart, do you know God?


  1. Wow!! Great post Rena! Situations like you describe above cause all of us to gain new perspective on life and learn what it TRULY important!! Caring family and friends and our relationship with God are of prime importance in life. They are very essential at all times but especially in times of great difficulty. Job is a great example. I am blessed beyond measure because of my family and friends and a loving God who has promised to never leave us nor forsake us. For that, I will always be "eternally" grateful!! Thanks for sharing this blog... it is a great blessing for me to have read it. Many blessings to you Rena!!