Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Intercessor and Friend

Job 16

Then Job replied:

2 "I have heard many things like these;
miserable comforters are you all!

3 Will your long-winded speeches never end?
What ails you that you keep on arguing?

4 I also could speak like you,
if you were in my place;
I could make fine speeches against you
and shake my head at you.

5 But my mouth would encourage you;
comfort from my lips would bring you relief.

6 "Yet if I speak, my pain is not relieved;
and if I refrain, it does not go away.

7 Surely, O God, you have worn me out;
you have devastated my entire household.

8 You have bound me—and it has become a witness;
my gauntness rises up and testifies against me.

9 God assails me and tears me in his anger
and gnashes his teeth at me;
my opponent fastens on me his piercing eyes.

10 Men open their mouths to jeer at me;
they strike my cheek in scorn
and unite together against me.

11 God has turned me over to evil men
and thrown me into the clutches of the wicked.

12 All was well with me, but he shattered me;
he seized me by the neck and crushed me.
He has made me his target;

13 his archers surround me.
Without pity, he pierces my kidneys
and spills my gall on the ground.

14 Again and again he bursts upon me;
he rushes at me like a warrior.

15 "I have sewed sackcloth over my skin
and buried my brow in the dust.

16 My face is red with weeping,
deep shadows ring my eyes;

17 yet my hands have been free of violence
and my prayer is pure.

18 "O earth, do not cover my blood;
may my cry never be laid to rest!

19 Even now my witness is in heaven;
my advocate is on high.

20 My intercessor is my friend
as my eyes pour out tears to God;

21 on behalf of a man he pleads with God
as a man pleads for his friend.

22 "Only a few years will pass
before I go on the journey of no return.

Tonight as I was leaving to go home a co-worker came into the break room on the verge of tears. Susan has had a year that would be by anyone's standards inconceivable. Her husband left her a year ago with four teen aged/college children and mound of debt. The day he came to gather his things she was standing at the door crying, felt a lump which was diagnosed as breast cancer within the week. She's had two surgeries, chemotherapy and is now undergoing radiation. She has lost her hair and is struggling with radiation burns. Her oldest daughter now has a baby. She is working 12 hour nights to pay the bills. Her house is on the market and needs to sell so that she doesn't loose it. She is sick, exhausted and a mere picture of who she was. And tonight before work she received a call from the school principle regarding her son and needs to be in the office at 8am. He'll probably be expelled. The only hope she has is what God has promised. And tonight that looked pretty dim.

So we sat and I listened. I kept praying for some great words of comfort to roll off of my tongue. But there was nothing there. I was just sad with her.

One thing that I love most about God's Word is that it is not cliche or trite. I was driven to read some of Job when I got home and came across Job 16. This is not something that you would find on the inside of a greeting cared. It might as well have been a word for word rendition of our conversation. I was initially looking for what I could have said/should have said. But instead I was convicted of this:

Even now my witness is in heaven;
my advocate is on high.

20 My intercessor is my friend
as my eyes pour out tears to God;

21 on behalf of a man he pleads with God
as a man pleads for his friend.

Christ Himself is witness to all of this. He is the advocate, the intercessor, the friend. He pleads with the Father on behalf of His own. This is what I will be praying for Susan and her children- that in all the confusion and pain that they would be able to know Christ is Head over all and interceding in the midst of these difficult circumstances. That would be a Comfort greater than anything.


Heather L. said...

My heart aches for your friend. I will be praying for her as God brings her to mind -- what a hard situation. I think sometimes the only thing to do is to be sad with someone, and of course pray. I'm glad you were there for her.

Alaina said...

You are a wise and good friend and listener. I will be upholding Susan in my prayers today. My heart is heavy for her.

mindi said...

I will definitely be praying for her. How sad. I pray that God shines on her and shows her the joy in life again.
It makes my life seem so easy in comparison!!

Mary@notbefore7 said...

What wise words, Monica. What a tough situation. I have some time set aside tomorrow for prayer and will pray for Susan.