Insights from a Glory-Bound Lady”
Volume 3 Number 33 “If You Really Want to be Helpful!”
September 2nd, 2020
Throughout her adult life, Karen served in the ministry with me for thirty-one years as pastor and wife in New York State. In 2001 Karen and I were commissioned by the Central Baptist Church of Binghamton, New York, as we left the pastorate to join the Baptist Church Planters’ ministry. Together we continued serving multiple local churches and our wonderful missionary family.
Karen knew the joys of life as well as the heartaches and challenges. She was there serving and reaching out to those who were hurting, frightened, lonely, abandoned, and grieving. She herself experienced deep disappointments and sorrows that came into our home with the death of our sons Jeffrey and Billy. She knew the struggles of raising children from four different sibling groups and helping them blend into one family!
She knew firsthand of those who would be great to have nearby in an emergency and those who should have stayed home! Let me share with you something about the heartache and tragedy that Job experienced and the friends who came!
“Now when Job’s three friends heard of all this evil that was come upon him, they came everyone from his own place; Eliphaz the Temanite, and Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite: for they had made an appointment together to come to mourn with him and to comfort him. So they sat down with him upon the ground seven days and seven nights, and none spoke a word unto him: for they saw that his grief was great” (Job 2:11, 13).
Karen wrote: When someone is hurting, be an encourager. For those who have never ministered to someone going through “deep waters” let me suggest some things NOT to do.
1. Don’t say, “I know how you feel” unless you’ve really been there.
2. Don’t ask nosy questions just to satisfy your curiosity.
3. Don’t stay for long periods of time unless you really sense God’s leading to do so.
4. Don’t do all the talking. Learn to listen.
5. Don’t give advice unless you are asked.
Michael’s observation: You will notice that she got right to the point very quickly in her seminar. This is good for ladies and men as we reach out to hurting people. To be honest, Job’s friends did their best comforting when they were silent. It went downhill quickly when they opened their mouths!