“David therefore besought God for the child; and David fasted and went in and lay all night repeatedly on the floor. His older house servants arose in the night and went to him to raise him up from the floor, but he would not, nor did he eat food with them. And on the seventh day the child died. David’s servants feared to tell him that the child was dead, for they said, ‘While the child was yet alive, we spoke to him and he would not listen to our voices; will he then harm himself if we tell him the child is dead?’ But when David saw that his servants whispered, he perceived that the child was dead. So he said to them, ‘Is the child dead?’ And they said, “He is.’ Then David arose from the floor, washed, anointed himself, changed his apparel, and went into the house of the Lord and worshiped. Then he came to his own house, and when he asked, they set food before him, and he ate. Then his servants said to him, ‘What is this that you have done? You fasted and wept while the child was alive, but when the child was dead, you arose and ate food.’ David said, ‘While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept; for I said, who knows whether the Lord will be gracious to me and let the child live? But now he is dead; why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he will not return to me.’”
II Samuel 12: 16-23
“Accepting God’s Will”
“If I want only pure water, what does it matter to me whether it be brought in a vase of gold or of glass? What is it to me whether the will of God be presented to me in tribulation or consolation, since I desire and seek only the Divine will?”
Francis de Sales
Have I ever longed for something and asked God for ‘His will to be done,’ only to have the outcome be the opposite of what I really longed for in my heart?
How does it make me feel to completely trust God that His will is done in my life?
“Hold this in a fixed verity, that is best which God wills.”
“Making my will one with the will of God, this is the union which I myself desire.”
Teresa of Avila
The passage from II Samuel 12, which is our text for today, is rather lengthy. But I have found when studying the Bible that it is wise to read in context. This is why I shared several verses because this entire group of texts paints an extremely vivid picture of what was going on in David’s house after he was told by Nathan that the child, born to Bathsheba, would not live. This horrible news was like an iron stake through David’s heart. We are told he “repeatedly” fell on the floor, begging God to spare his innocent baby. He stopped eating. He stopped communicating. Instead, with every fiber of his being he plead. But we find, the child died anyway. And once the child died, the workers in the palace were so afraid of David’s reaction, even fearing he might harm himself, that they tried to hide the news from David. However, they didn’t succeed. David knew what had happened. Maybe a baby’s cry was no longer heard. Or perhaps it was Bathsheba’s sobbing that gave away the fact that the child was not alive.
Much to the surprise of David’s attendants, after finding out this tragic news, David arose, went to God’s house to worship and then asked for food. When questioned about his behavior, David informed those around him that he must accept God’s will. We might say time was moving on and David understood that it was not within his power to change the past, he could affect only the present and future.
It is important for each of us to gain personal insight from this painful loss that David and Bathsheba sustained and here’s why. David noted at the very end of this passage that there would come a day when he, too, would pass away and join his child – not the other way around.
For each of us, the heartache that death brings will at one time or another strike all our lives and when it does, each of us has a different way that we grieve. I’m not going to pass judgment on how the grieving process varies in our lives. For some, the bumpy road of grief is affected by the type of relationship an individual had with the person who died. Other times, the way grief is handled can be affected by the way we lose the one we love.
When my father died, it was sudden and without warning. The shock of the event, at first, numbed my senses. It was weeks later, when the reality of my dad’s absence struck home and the emotional roller coaster really hit me. I didn’t want to let go of my dad. For over two years, at the end of the week, on Friday afternoon when I got off work, I stopped at a local florist, picked up a spray of flowers and went to his gravesite to weep. Two long years of heartache. And finally, one Friday, I began to think of how my dad might have wanted me to use the funds I was spending on flowers every week. Knowing how much he cared for children and their salvation, I decided to start using that money to see that his life-long love for hurting children was carried on. It hit me that his desire for me to put my effort into caring for the living that were hurting would be foremost in his desires.
David’s response to the sadness caused by death was to start living again, especially in a way that would bring glory to God and honor the memory of the child he had lost.
Sadly, as long as we are on planet earth, the miserable company of death will stalk all our lives, but if as David did, we not only accept God’s will, but we learn to “live for the living,” what better way to continue living within God’s will, whether in a path of joy or pain.
In the prayer Jesus taught His disciples, the Lord’s Prayer, there are these words: “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” These are tough words for me to repeat sometimes for when I do, I’m opening my entire life to God’s working. I’m trusting that His will for my heavenly good is present when the sun’s glow radiantly fills the sky as well as when the foreboding clouds drop rain into my life. Frankly, it can be scary for me to say to my Father in heaven, “Let Thy will be my will.” But when I do, I can rest in the assurance that sifted through His gracious hands, nothing that my Father can’t handle will be allowed to touch my life. And so, in a time of loss, David arose and ate and went in to worship God.
“Though the sky fall, Thy will be done.”
“Yet, in the maddening maze of things,
And tossed by storm and flood,
To one fixed trust my spirit clings;
I know that God is good!...
I know not where His islands lift
Their fronded palms in air;
I only know I cannot drift
Beyond His love and care.”
John Greenleaf Whittier
Dorothy Valcấrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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For more from Dorothy, please visit transformationgarden.com.