Job 2:11 "Now when Job's three friends heard of all this evil that had come upon him, they came each from his own place, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite. They made an appointment together to come to show him sympathy and comfort him." ESV
Job had three guys who saw his pain. These guys were true friends. How do I know? They sacrificed to try to help him. The sacrifice was their time. They each left "his own place". They were willing to have an interruption in their own lives, to put aside their own agendas and schedules. These guys communicated with each other about Job's situation. How do I know? Because they made an appointment to come together. You don't make appointments with other people unless you are talking and they were talking. And I don't think that their talking was gossip. I think that their talking was asking the question: "How can we help our friend?" The purpose of their appointment was to show him sympathy and to give him comfort. Even his wife was questioning him and they wanted to show him compassion and console him. To have three friends who would do something like this was one positive in all of the garbage that Job was going through. If only they had kept their mouths shut and simply went to encourage him, it would have been better…yet I think that these guys initially had the right idea.
Friends are a blessing. To have someone interrupt their schedule and take the time to care is an amazing thing. To have another human being be present in the middle of a difficult time, to pray for you, to encourage you is a gift.
And right now I am asking myself the question: "What kind of friend am I?" Something came up last night that would have pulled me out of my comfortable little home. It would have changed what my wife and I had planned for the evening, but it was a need that someone had. Was I willing to do it? Was I willing to go? Was I willing to take the time to minister? And was this willingness out of duty or out of friendship? These are probing questions because they really show what I am like…not on the outside but on the inside. And now this morning, reading this stuff about friendship solidifies this conviction that there is not a whole lot that is more important than a willingness, an availability, an openness to drop it all when someone has a need.
This was what Jesus was like. His life was a life of interruptions, but this is how He rolled. Always open, always willing, always ready. Nothing was more important than the other person. I want to be like that…a good friend.