“After Nathan had gone home, the Lord struck the child that Uriah’s wife had borne to David, and he became ill. David pleaded with God for the child. He fasted and spent the nights lying in sackcloth on the ground. The elders of his household stood beside him to get him up from the ground, but he refused, and he would not eat any food with them.
“On the seventh day the child died. David’s attendants were afraid to tell him that the child was dead, for they thought, “While the child was still living, he wouldn’t listen to us when we spoke to him. How can we now tell him the child is dead? He may do something desperate.”
“David noticed that his attendants were whispering among themselves, and he realized the child was dead. “Is the child dead?” he asked.
““Yes,” they replied, “he is dead.”
“Then David got up from the ground. After he had washed, put on lotions and changed his clothes, he went into the house of the Lord and worshiped. Then he went to his own house, and at his request they served him food, and he ate.
“His attendants asked him, “Why are you acting this way? While the child was alive, you fasted and wept, but now that the child is dead, you get up and eat!”
“He answered, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept. I thought, ‘Who knows? The Lord may be gracious to me and let the child live.’ But now that he is dead, why should I go on fasting? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.”
–2 Samuel 12:15-23 (NIV)
This passage of scripture speaks of several things, but I think that it speaks most poignantly to the losses which we all face. While it was a baby in David’s case, it does not have to be limited to that. Today, my friend, God wants you to know that if you are facing a loss of any kind, there is hope beyond the grave.
In David’s case, this loss was brought about by his own sin, and this is sometimes the case in our lives. But there are times when suffering and pain seems like a fact of life that eludes us.
In either case, it is not wise to blame our loving God. I say this as one who has faced loss many times in my own life. For example, I don’t understand why I can’t see, except to say that we live in a fallen world because of our disobedience to Him.
I think, therefore, that the best path for us is to follow David’s example, as he shows us the correct response to grief and loss. So let’s look at that response in detail.
First, the Bible tells us that David got up from the ground. Notice that scripture does not say he felt like getting up. After all, he had just been mourning the loss of his child for seven days. So I’m sure that David got up through willpower alone. But being able to get up after such grief may still seem strange to you, so we need to look at another story, which sheds light on David’s actions.
It is the story in which the ark was being brought to Jerusalem, in a way which hadn’t been prescribed by the scriptures. This resulted in death, and we are told that the Lord’s anger burned because of an irreverent act.
David was also very angry, and according to scripture it took him quite some time to get over his emotion. What I am trying to point out here is his humanity.
Perhaps he had to work through some anger issues. Scripture doesn’t say. But I don’t think it was any picnic for him to wash and put on lotions. This must have made him feel better, though, for his response was one of worship.
That brings me to a question. When bad things happen in life, how do you and I respond?
Worshiping God is not denying our feelings or questions. It is bringing our frustrations before the throne of a loving God. So step out as David did, and whether you feel like it or not, allow God to comfort you and love you.
During sad or tough times, I encourage you to turn to Psalms 46. It tells us that God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Also, just as David wasn’t alone, you shouldn’t bear trouble or grief by yourself either. Don’t be afraid to call on another brother or sister in Christ.
If you still need someone to pray and talk with, please call us. You can reach us at 509.369.6861.
Thank you for reading this, and may the Lord give you a wonderful week! We are trying to reach people who are hurting, so if God lays it on your heart, please consider becoming a partner with us. If you would like to make a donation, please visit www.hcmachaplains.org and click on the Donate Now link. You can also send donations by mail to HCMA (Healthcare Chaplains Ministry Association). Our ID number is 560. The address is 101 S Kraemer BLVD, Suite 123A, Placentia, CA 92870.
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