Job's friends were speechless with distress when they first saw him; now it is as though they are deafened. Words like a hot desert wind blow over Job, depleting him. Job thirsts for mercy, understanding, but finds none. The friends speak nothing of Job's own suffering, but of the good life of the righteous to a man for whom life is unbearable. They speak of the despair of the sinner to a man who seeks purity and clings to righteousness. Their solution is simple – Job's punishment will cease if he repents from sin. Comfortless words to a man wretched in body and spirit.
At work it is my role to be solution-focused, to identify cause and effect, and seek opportunities for change. Sometimes the way forward is unclear. Pat answers fail to suffice, and reduce opportunity for genuine empathy.
God, as I minister to those you bring across my path, help me to not rush in with empty words and quick fixes. Help me to be wise, and to bring Your comfort to those in need.