Yes, Life is designed to go on even thru your most difficult weeping time! Think about it!
2 Samuel 12:20-23, “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.”
Just yesterday in our special year-end gathering, there were a lot of sorrows and sadness expressed by many due to the death of one of our sisters in the Lord. There were many questions and concerns from the family members why this happened to their dear family? All of us in our church feel the same way.
Recent gathering enforced few eternal truths.
There are few lessons we all need to keep remembering. They include:
Bad things happen to us on an on-going basis because you and I live in a fallen and sin-bound world.
Remember we have little control over things happen to us or to our dear ones.
One thing is sure each one of us has control over our response to these bad incidents.
Another thing that is sure is this – there is no real spiritual growth happens in the absence of such adversities.
Pruning can result in growth spurts.
I know it is hard to understand. But these are the truths. One more thing is this – did you wonder why certain people are used more by the Lord for His glory while others are not used much at all for His glory? What is the secret? There are no successful spiritual ministries and works unless one is broken down by the hand of the Lord. When He breaks you, He can mold you again according to his wish and fashion and there becomes a high potential for spiritual growth and glorification of God’s name in and through such a person. We grow curry leaves in our backyard. There is sudden and spontaneous growth when you break or prune the tender branches of curry leaves. If you don’t break or prune the tender branches, thick and abundant growth doesn’t occur. Jesus said this about Himself and the Father in heaven, ‘I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful” (John 15:1-2). Your spiritual impact and effect would be directly proportional to the way God pruned you or broke you. Don’t get jealousy with others and they are being used by God because they paid the price of sufferings and learned through it.
Where is she now anyway?
We know for certain that the above sister who died in 2017 is in the presence of the Lord. How do we know this for sure? Because she accepted Jesus Christ as her savior while she lived on the earth before her death. Jesus and Bible promise eternal life in heaven with God to all those believe and trust in Christ as their savior because He is the only savior of the world who gave his precious and holy blood as a ransom for our sins. Sin would take one to hell and there is nothing you can do about it. None of your good works will be able to cover or pay for your sins. But the blood of Christ cleanses us from all our unrighteousness and sins and makes us eligible to stand in the presence of the Holy God in heaven with no guilt, condemnation or shame. Where do you end up if you die today? Do you have the assurance that you will be in heaven with God when you die? You can have the assurance of eternal life if you call upon Jesus Christ as your savior today.
When a man after God’s heart fails and yields to his temptations.
There are quite a few people followers these days as there were in the past. But Jesus never asked us to follow spiritual giants or other people, did He? He asked us to follow Him and he would make us ‘fishers of men’. Another exemption in the Bible is when Paul said in 1 Corinthians 11:1, “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” Faith giants may fall. Why? We all are humans with a sin nature in us. However, learn from their mistakes and follow Christ. Or in another way, let us follow the good examples of other faith warriors as they try to follow the example of Christ. Mark, who are trying to follow Christ and follow their good example of following Christ. But don’t ship-wreck your faith by their failures. But learn to follow Christ. This idea will free you a lot to love and show compassion even to those faith giants who fail right in front of you. Bible says, “So if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!” (1 Corinthians 10:12). Even Peter couldn’t stand without failing on the night of Jesus’s crucifixion. So let us abandon our proud, arrogant pharisaic nature and be humble, watchful and careful.
However, this is not my point. Let us continue our thought now.
The failure of a great man of God is given in 2 Samuel 12 for our learning. A big giant of faith fell in the face of temptation by looking at another man’s wife – Bathsheba. David’s temptation arose and finally, he managed her to sleep with him and committed adultery. Her husband- an innocent man- was killed by David’s army. Well planned and implemented. So far so good. But David, a man after God’s own heart, couldn’t hide this horrible sin for a long time and escape the sad consequences.
David ended marrying Bathsheba and they have a child now. The Lord sent His prophet – Nathan- to point out his cruel sin. Nathan looked straight on David’s face and said “You are me that man! The Lord also said “I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. I gave your masters house to you, and your master’s wives into your arms. I gave you all Israel and Judah. And if all this had been too little, I would have given even more. Why did you despise the word of the LORD by doing what is evil in his eyes? You struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and took his wife to be your own.” And a sentence was punished for his sins. This was the pronouncement of the Lord. “The sword will never depart from your house because you despised me and took the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your own.” Another punishment pronounced was this-“the son born to you will die.” (Vs 14c).
This is the background of the above passages cited in the beginning. When his son became seriously sick, David pleaded with God for him. He fasted, prayed and spent nights in sackcloth on the ground. He refused to get up off the ground and he stopped eating any food. When the son died after seven days his attendants were afraid to tell him that the child was dead because they thought David didn’t take any comfort from them while the child was sick and living. Therefore, how can we bring the bad news of child’s death?
But when David noticed they were whispering among themselves, he asked whether the child was dead. He asked, “Is the child dead?” They said, “Yes”.
When he heard it, he got up from the ground, washed, changed his clothes. Then he went into the house of the LORD and worshipped. He requested food and they served him food and he ate.
His attendants asked him why he was acting this way? David said, “while the child was still active, I fasted and wept. 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.” Then David comforted his wife Bathsheba as well. He went to her and she gave birth to another son, and they named him Solomon who became one of the greatest kings of the nation Israel. How do I know Solomon was a great king of Israel? Jesus said like this, “The Queen of the South will rise at the judgment with the people of this generation and condemn them, for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon’s wisdom; and now someone greater than Solomon is here”. Jesus was referring to Himself. Jesus agreed Solomon was great in his kingship.
We can all learn certain lessons from the above story of David.
First, Sin will find yourself. You and I cannot hide sins for a long time. In verse 12, Nathan, the prophet of the LORD, said to David, “You did it in secret, but I will do this thing in broad daylight before all Israel.” Do we really understand the serious consequences of sins? David acknowledged and confessed his sin to the LORD. He said, “ I have sinned against the LORD.” You see, God has seen his sins as a sin against Him only. You see when you do wrong things against other people, always remember this truth. God sees our wrongdoings as sins against Him. He takes it very personally our sins.
Based on David’s acknowledgment and confession of his sin, Nathan said to David, “The LORD has taken away your sin. You are not going to die. But your son will die.”
David’s life is spared but his son’s life was not spared. You see, David’s foolish choice and action led to the death of his son. He understood this fact and that is why he fasted, prayed and was wearing sackcloth and lying down on the ground.
But here is a bigger principle. When he heard his son was dead, he got up from the ground, washed himself, ate and drink. You see, the life is designed to go on even through the greatest and most severe hits of heartbreaking events and lamentations. We cannot continue in our weeping and crying forever and ever, can we? Not only that, God doesn’t expect us to dwell in our sorrows and despair conditions. There is a time for everything, Solomon said. Refer Ecclesiastes 3:1-8. It says there “there is a time to be born and die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to weep and a time to laugh, and a time to mourn and a time to dance….”
Don’t make an edifice in a wrong place.
I know there are people who live in their sorrows for an indefinite time with no light at the end of their tunnel. You know what? They make an edifice right there in the valley of sorrows and dwell there permanently. I believe self-centeredness is the reason for this permanent indwelling in the edifice of sorrows disappointment and displeasure. These people never raise their eyes to the loving and compassionate LORD in heaven. They are not bothered to claim the wonderful promises of God. You see, God want you to move forward. You cannot be stuck where you are and that is not definitely the God’s best plan for your life. He wants to learn from what happened. Not to live in the harsh memory of what happened by destroying the joy and potentials you still have from God. Be a learner and not victim. You see, David had a deeper understanding of God and His character and promises. This is the reason why David acted the way he did although it was a strange behavior to watch for those around him.
Certain things we can adopt in our lifestyle are penned below.
1. Understand you are not alone in your sufferings. Everyone will get his and her fair share of living in this fallen world. It is only a matter of time. So keep enough compassion in your hearts for others. Don’t be arrogant and proud. But keep a humble and lowly heart.
2. Immerse yourself in the promises of God. There are many in the Bible. One study showed there are 3573 promises in the Bible. These promises of God anchor you deep and strong in your troubled waters. God communicated and warned us about the sheer possibility of sufferings all on a sudden or at any time even in the first Bible book ever wrote – the Book of Job. Book of Job was written even before the Pentateuch was written (the first five books of the Bible). So this topic of sufferings is very crucial for the Lord so that we will be ready when our time comes. By the way don’t be like Job’s friends who came to comfort him and ended up criticizing and ridiculing him. There are many who acts like Job’s friends today.
3. No pain, no gain or No gains without pains is an old saying but reveals the much spiritual truth in it. Job said in Job 42:5, “I had only heard about you before, but now I have seen you with my own eyes.” Job says he has seen God with his own eyes in the midst of his sufferings when he finally understood how great and awesome God is when he was confronted by God with questions that were unanswerable to him. (Job 38-41). There is much potential to know God experientially in your heartbreaking times. There is a possibility to see God with your own eyes, Job says.
4. Understand you need to fully trust in the character of God, stand up and go on with your life by leaning on Him. Because you cannot undo what happened, you cannot go back and you cannot be stuck where you are. You need to learn from it and talk to God, agree with the almighty and make move to go on with the Lord.
Your life is designed to go on through the most difficult and crying times. Bible says in Acts 14:22 that Paul and Barnabas were “strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith. “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,” they said.
Yes, Indeed, we must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God.