Transformation through Social Support

In some cases, time and nature by themselves may bring healing. In most cases, however, recovery from tragedy requires intervention of friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers, sources of social support. When confronted with a disaster or a situation beyond our ability to cope on our own, we usually reach out. We acknowledge our inability to go it alone any longer. Either we initiate a conversation, or respond to others’ offer to listen. We need “someone to talk to.” More, we need someone to hear what we say, how we feel, and to provide some advice as to the direction we need to take.

Many times, the simple presence of our support figure meets our deepest need. Job, devastated by a succession of calamities we cannot imagine, sits at the city dump. When friends (more peers in wisdom) learn of his plight, they meet to visit him. They brave sitting with other outcasts and  victims of infectious diseases. Because tragedy can immobilize us, the friends’  initiative reinforces Job’s value to them. It also confirms his value in his own eyes. Especially after we experience a disaster, we need reassurance others love us, value us, and care about us.

Let’s examine other aspects of social support  next week.

About Grose

Gordon Grose loves most to write, speak, and preach on the message of hope from the book of Job. Using drama, video, and PowerPoint, he has preached and presented this message of hope to churches around the country. Grose pastored three congregations 25 years, then served 12 years as a pastoral counselor in a Portland, Oregon counseling clinic. He now serves with Good Samaritan Counseling Services, Beaverton, OR. A graduate of Wheaton College (IL), Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Brandeis University, and Boston University, he comes from a rich and varied background in theological and counseling training. In 2015, Gordon published Tragedy Transformed: How Job's Recovery Can Provide Hope For Yours, a book about turning to Job for hope after tragedy. If you have experienced life challenges or personal tragedy, visit his Transforming Tragedy ( blog to learn more. provides a sample of Gordon's speaking as well as an opportunity to purchase copies of his book.
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