January 8, 2021
Job 2:12-13
When they saw him from a distance, they could hardly recognize him; they began to weep aloud, and they tore their robes and sprinkled dust on their heads.  Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights. No one said a word to him, because they saw how great his suffering was.
New International Version (NIV)
               Will Durant once wrote, “One of the lessons of history is that nothing is often a good thing to do and always a clever thing to say.”  So how are we doing?  In our desire to find worth through productivity, doing nothing feels like a waste of time.  When our world defines itself by noise, staying silent is difficult to do.

              Job’s friends were at their very best when they said nothing.  Remember that Job’s life had been exceedingly good before he lost everything.  Satan asked permission to take his possessions, his children and his health.  Job maintained his integrity even after he lost everything.  When his friends saw him in his misery, they tore their clothes, wept and sat with him in the silence.  This was so good.  The trouble started when they started to talk.

              All of us know others who have endured great loss.  One temptation is to try to explain their loss to them.  This is dangerous.  Once when I had just left a tragic scene at a hospital, I stopped to tell a mutual friend about another family’s loss.  He looked at me through my car window and said, “Well we bring these things on ourselves.”  I just drove away.  He must have felt like I wanted him to say something.  I wish he had not, and I had nothing to say to him in that moment that would have been helpful.

              Let’s try this.  When we hear about someone who has lost a loved one or lost their health or lost their work or lost their peace of mind, instead of explaining what they should do, let’s offer the ministry of presence without saying a word.  It might be the very best thing we can do for them.  Sometimes in our silence, we make room for God to speak.  Somehow, he always knows the right thing to say.
Pray with me:         
Father, make us quick to listen today, slow to speak and slow to anger.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.    
Scripture memorization for this week:    
Genesis 1:27
So God created mankind in his own image,
    in the image of God he created them;
    male and female he created them.
Hebrews 11:7
By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith.
New International Version (NIV)
Our 2021 Every Day with Jesus readings will follow the Foundations Bible reading plan.  Copies of the reading plan are available at Tallowood Baptist Church, or download your copy here:
https://www.tallowood.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/Read-Through-Bible-Download.pdf
We would love for you to join us as we read through the Bible in one year, while still having the flexibility of reading 5 days per week.  In addition, I will continue my long-standing practice of reading one Psalm a day through the year.  We will also memorize 2 scriptures each week.  As we journal together this year,  Robby Gallaty’s H.E.A.R. plan is a good resource: Highlight a verse that stands out to you, Explain what it means, Apply that truth to your life and Respond to what you’ve read with an action or prayer.
Joyfully, 
Duane 

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