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.
(Job 2:13 NIV)
I’ve learned that sometimes the best thing to do for someone who is hurting is to be there for them without saying a word. In fact, after their numerous attempts to make sense of Job’s suffering, Job told his friends, “I have heard many things like these; you are miserable comforters, all of you! Will your long-winded speeches never end?” (Job 16:2-3). God also corrected Job’s friends for what they had said. He said to one of them, “I am angry with you and your two friends, because you have not spoken the truth about me, as my servant Job has” (42:7). No matter how much we think we know, we can never truly understand someone else’s pain the way God does. Therefore, I’ve learned to pray that “the God of all comfort” would Himself comfort those who are suffering (2 Corinthians 1:3).
Not saying anything is oftentimes a wise response.