I know it’s a lot to ask you to read today, but it’s worth it!  Poor Job is just having the worst time in his entire life.  We know that, don’t we?  And even his friends turn out to be ‘miserable comforters are you all! Will your long-winded speeches never end?  What ails you…’ (Job 16:2-3).   With all that’s happening to him, all the  losses, all the pain, all the unanswered questions, yet at the end of chapter 16 he affirms his hope beyond hope that he has an advocate, an intercessor, someone to help him who is now helpless, one who pleads with God on his behalf.  And we, who are believers, know who that is…Jesus Christ, our Risen Lord!   Like St. Paul said, ‘…Christ Jesus, who died–more than that, who was raised to life–is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us'(Romans 8:34).  Yes, our Advocate is speaking out for us, He’s on our side, He loves us and all in this world, especially those who trust in Him alone.  There’s another precious word in this book of Job.  Did you notice it…the very last word of verse 21?  He calls us ‘friend’.  What a wonderful word…Jesus is our friend.  Someone who sticks with us even when every reason has been given to just leave us in the lurch, and tell us to take a hike.   He won’t do that.  When we turn our backs, He doesn’t.  When God seems so far away, maybe it’s not Him whose walked away.  Maybe we should turn around and see Him right there  next to us.  Those  footprints in the sand carrying us like a shepherd with a lamb or more appropriately a child cradled in the arms of the loving parent.  So, as Easter arrives once again, as we remember that Jesus suffered and died for us, that He endured terrible losses  for us, that He’d do it all again just for you and me, remember the word used here…he’s our friend.  And such a friend like no other…anywhere, ever.  Just like Jesus Himself said in John 15:15–‘…I have called you friends…’Thank you, Friend, thank you…

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