Thursday, January 21, 2010

Comfort or Catch Phrases?

“Then Job spoke again: ‘I have heard all this before. What miserable comforters you are! Won’t you ever stop blowing hot air? What makes you keep on talking? I could say the same things if you were in my place. I could spout off criticism and shake my head at you. But if it were me, I would encourage you. I would try to take away your grief…’”

Job 16:1-5

The book of Job in the Bible is a powerful story of pain and suffering. It also teaches us a few things about comfort in the midst of pain. In a short period of time, Job, a man who loved God and avoided evil, lost everything he possessed. He lost his family and his fortune, and was inflicted with unbearable pain in his body. He lost everything, which is saying a lot for a guy who had three thousand camels.

As you read through the book of Job, it starts to become clear that there is a right way and a wrong way to comfort our brothers and sisters who are in pain. In this midst of this tragedy, Job’s friends come alongside him not to listen to him or share in his pain. Instead, these men just begin giving speeches filled with catch phrases and accusations that we so often hear in our culture.

Do you ever feel tired of hearing catch phrases in the midst of your pain? Do you walk away feeling empty from conversations filled with “It will be ok” and “Everything happens for a reason?” The book of Job teaches us that although it is true that with God everything has a purpose, and everything will work out for good, that doesn’t mean that our brothers and sisters don’t need real comfort. We live in a broken world filled with real pain, and God does not intend for us to go through it on their own.

My Broken Palace believes that no one should be alone through the hurts and pains of life. Our desire is to provide a place where hurting people can be real and honest, and others can come alongside with comfort, not catch phrases. Whatever it is that is causing you pain today (even if you didn’t lose 3,000 camels), we are glad you are here.

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