When I was a freshman in college I experienced a loneliness that I had never experienced before in my life. About two months into my first semester I found myself surrounded by lots of people but feeling incredibly alone. Don't misunderstand me: I knew A LOT of people. Being the extrovert that I am, I knew a least a couple hundred people on campus by that time. The problem was that none of my relationships had then developed in depth. That feeling of loneliness in the midst of so many people was a hard feeling to deal with. I think Job faced a similar feeling when everyone around him began challenging him and confronting him. Nobody took the time to see what agony he was in. Instead, they offered their unsolicited advice and criticism.
I wonder how many people come to our church and feel lonely at times… even in the presence of others. Do we care for them? Do we show them a level of love that they don't receive anywhere else? Do we have eyes for those people who need to connect with others? If not, then we have done no better than Job's friends. Too often our words to people fail to be the healing balm that was needed by Job in this situation; hopefully we can do differently than they.