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Don’t Add to the Noise

Jackie just gave birth to her son, and he or she didn’t feel too good about herself. All she desired to do was stay in bed. She didn’t even wish to take care of her newborn baby. She was going through postpartum depression, or “baby blues,” a standard medical condition related to pregnancy.

For three months, Jackie felt sad and lonely. She often cried and talked about her doubts about caring for her latest baby. Her husband and in-laws quietly listened to her, allowing her to cry and unburden herself, while they cared for her and her baby. Although still feeling the infant blues, Jackie finally talked herself into going back to her church. Sensing her inner struggle, the ladies on the church decided to quietly sit along with her and hold her hand. No one added to the noise in her head with their words of comfort and wisdom!

However, Sin Can Be on Our Lips, Even When We Try to Help

The story of Job is an ideal example of somebody “hard pressed on every side” (2 Corinthians 4:8-9) When God allowed Satan to check Job’s godly character, Satan’s first attack was to kill all his children and take away his property (Job 1:1-19). Despite the loss, especially the death of all his children, Job acknowledged God’s authority over his life. He “tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the bottom and worshiped. And he said, “Naked I got here from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord. In all this Job didn’t sin or charge God with improper” (1:20-22). 

But Satan wanted more, so God permitted him to check Job again, with the condition to spare his life. This time, Satan struck him with “loathsome sores from the only real of his foot to the crown of his head” (Job 2:7). Again, Job never complained to God about his condition, even after his wife prodded him with these words: “Do you continue to hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die” (v.9).

We have many selection words to say in our desperate moments. Claiming our intimacy with God, we spill our guts, including our frustration and anger in our situation, bringing all to God in prayer. But we tremble in our doubts, undecided if God really cares for us or sees and hears us to take us out of our pits. 

In Job 3, we see Job chatting with God about his troubles and why it could have been higher for him to have died at birth: “I’m not comfy, nor am I quiet; I haven’t any rest, but trouble comes” (v.26). In his combating God, he began to lose hope. “Therefore I won’t restrain my mouth; I’ll speak within the anguish of my spirit; I’ll complain within the bitterness of my soul” (7:11). 

We even have many selection words to say to others’ desperate moments. Just like Job’s wife, we wish the sufferer to confess to some hidden offense or wrongdoing. In chapter 8, Bildad, one among Job’s friends, decided to offer him some conscience-pricking words to jog his memory of any possible hidden offense to God: “Can papyrus grow where there isn’t any marsh? Can reeds flourish where there isn’t any water? While yet in flower and never cut down, they wither before another plant. Such are the paths of all who forget God; the hope of the godless shall perish” (8:11-13). In short, “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.” Surely, something improper was done; hence, the suffering.

Or we spout holiness with assurances of God’s guarantees, spoken when the sufferer is currently walking in “the valley of the shadow of death” and grappling with God’s goodness within the situation (Psalm 23). There is usually no listening power for the sufferer.

Don’t Add to the Noise of the Suffering

Jackie can have had selection words in her desperate moments, however the individuals who surrounded her didn’t add to the noise in her head. In the start, Job’s three friends did the identical. “Now when Job’s three friends heard of all of the evil that had come upon him, they got here each from his own place… They made an appointment together to return to indicate him sympathy and luxury him. And once they saw him from a distance, they didn’t recognize him. And they raised their voices and wept, and so they tore their robes and sprinkled dust on their heads toward heaven. And they sat with him on the bottom seven days and 7 nights, and nobody spoke a word to him, for they saw that his suffering was very great” (vv.11-13).

First, how lots of us will probably be around for somebody? We often make assurances that we are going to stand alongside our friends in times of need. But how again and again do we actually make good on our commitment? Job’s friends made an appointment to be there for him. 

Second, are we sensitive enough to see the situation and clever enough to vary our plan of motion? We wish to attack an issue, so we arm ourselves with our go-to verses and prayers. But Job’s friends recognized his condition from afar, a lot in order that it made them grieve. They decided to mourn for him.

Third, are we willing to be still and offer quiet comfort and sympathy? Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still and know I’m God.” Can we be still and let our suffering friend know that we’re walking alongside her or him without even opening our mouths? Perhaps within the silence, we are able to deal with lifting our friend up in prayer. 

Years after Jackie’s postpartum depression, a friend called her. The woman was a young mother of three. Her husband left her. Jackie talked to her husband and asked in the event that they could stay along with her friend. For seven days, they lived with Jackie’s friend and kids. Jackie allowed her friend to grieve and talk while she was the quiet, listening presence. No sound got here out of Jackie’s mouth. Jackie’s friend healed from her loss and grief and can’t thank her enough for what she did. 

Don’t Add Noise to Your Own Suffering

Job’s friends eventually turned oout to be miserable comforters to him, accusing him of wickedness and unrighteousness for his suffering. They were unable to restrain themselves from speaking. And Job did the identical, questioning God for a solution to his suffering. 

When God answered Job, he had to vow silence. “I even have spoken once, and I won’t answer; twice, but I’ll proceed no further” (Job 40:5). Job repented for his actions and acknowledged God’s majesty, and said, “I do know which you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours will be thwarted… I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you” (42:2,5). 

The Apostle Paul said, “But we now have this treasure in jars of clay, to indicate that the surpassing power belongs to God and never to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed” (2 Corinthians 4:7-9). 

And identical to Job, we are going to undergo many types of suffering. We will get hit. We will get knocked down. But we are able to rise up! As believers in Christ, we too have the ability of the Holy Spirit living in us. He will give us the strength to beat difficulties in order that we are usually not overwhelmed and destroyed or feel desperate and alone. 

God’s answer will come, but only after we learn to show off the noise and keep ourselves from creating more noise so we are able to refocus our attention on God, remembering that Jesus is our certainty. Proverbs 17:27 says, “Whoever restrains his words has knowledge, and he who has a cool spirit is a person of understanding.”

Now, be still and remain quiet in your suffering, and know God is at work! Then, see God’s hand of delivery and restoration. Just like He did for Job, it should be greater than you possibly can imagine!

Photo Credit: ©Bogomil Mihaylov/Unsplash

Luisa Collopy is an creator, speaker and a women’s Bible study teacher. She also produces Mula sa Puso (From the Heart) in Tagalog (her heart language), released on FEBC Philippines stations. Luisa loves spending time along with her family over meals and karaoke!

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