…continued from 2.5.09 posting, Job’s Friends Part 1.

Now, you know what I’m going to say next right? Job’s friends – that was the subject of this posting wasn’t it? I have some “Job’s friends.”  These are the types that caused the saying, “With friends like these, who needs enemies?” 

I have had wonderful friends who have stuck by me through thick and thin, off and on through my lifetime. I wish it had been more “on” than “off,” but God knew when we needed someone with “skin on.” God planted them in the right place and right time to offer that helping hand – as if it were God’s hand itself, just to pick us up and dust us off. We got pretty dusty and dirty in the trenches day in and day out. They just loved us and left it at that. He provided friends here and there during the times that were too much for us to handle or in the midst of battle where we couldn’t see our way clear. I wish I could say we had someone by our side through it all, but for the most part it hasn’t been that way. Of course, like I’ve said many times, my mom was always there for moral support. But besides her, Mark and I were pretty much alone to figure things out.

My “Job’s friends” have come in the form of friends, relatives, teachers, co-workers, advisors, pastors, doctors, neighbors, etc. that have felt they had that magical message to bring us that would make everything work out. They are the ones who throw Scripture at you or the “I think that…” advice that so freely flowed out of their mouth without solicitation.  Or they’d discuss our family with other people, voicing their opinion about how we should do things. Of course, they had no personal experience or any type of proof to back up their advice, yet they freely gave it anyway. They wouldn’t get to know us before offering their advice, nor would they stop to think that it was unsolicited. It is seldom that I will ask advice simply because someone inexperienced in our type of ministry just isn’t given any credence in my mind. That may sound harsh, but it is our reality.

The only exception is the occasional led by the spirit pastor or friend whos life is saturated with Bible principles and is very good at making application. He’s the one who starts out with, “I can’t speak from personal experience, nor do I know your entire situation, but have you considered…” They don’t begin to understand but care enough to provide Biblical principles to aid in our decision if we indicated we needed advice. They don’t tell us we’re doing it wrong, or are responsible for their behavior because they realize they just don’t know everything like “Job’s friends” do.  Besides, if he is led by the Spirit, then certainly Satan wouldn’t be able to sway him into being judgmental. Sometimes God uses their comments to give us an idea on how to handle a situation or simply to encourage us to continue being faithful. The critical comments or unsought for advice only caused us to walk away discouraged, realizing how alone we really are. I had a niece recently send me a very encouraging email that was so compassionate that it sounded like God wrote it Himself. Many times when a friend and I would be talking about something in our life, one of us would say, “I just wish God would send me an email and let me know what to do next.” I can honestly say I finally got an email from Him – because someone spoke out of the heart, a heart that was owned by God. That is what I strive to do – because I have learned out of personal experience what heartache is and what it’s like to be judged unfairly by another.

To be continued…