Memories (Part 2)

And the Lord afflicted the child that Uriah’s wife bore to David, and he became sick. David therefore sought God on behalf of the child. And David fasted and went in and lay all night on the ground. And the elders of his house stood beside him, to raise him from the ground, but he would not, nor did he eat food with them. On the seventh day the child died. (2 Samuel 12:15-18 ESV).

I have often counseled people in their grief to weep deeply. Whatever the loss that is the first step to healing and restoration. We are going to see from David’s experience in the loss of his first child with Bathsheba that he did went through these four steps of dealing with his deep sorrow. They work for us as well. Each day we will consider one of them. They are: grieve the loss, wash your face, trust God embracing the life you have.

In the historic Glenwood Cemetery of Houston, where both my parents are buried, there is a well known statue, “The Weeping Angel.” You can see from the picture that it is striking. I use it to visually remind us that our tears do not go unnoticed. It is always beneficial to acknowledge what is hard. Grieve the loss. You can and should feel the sting of what will never be. When we weep deeply over the life we hoped would be, we begin to walk a path leading to a sense of release. Often we too guarded about our pain, because it seems more spiritual. That’s not true. Weeping helps us heal. Since mourning is rarely a “one and done” event, it is natural to return to this state even after we think we have “moved on.” Often it is unexpectedly. Discipline yourself to acknowledge and even welcome this grief. Often it will reveal something that is worth paying attention to.

I mourn the loss of what once was as well as the loss of what never was. They are both losses of what I hoped would be. There are so many forms of loss. There are couples who have struggled with infertility, as well as those who have buried a child, or who are raising a special needs child or a wayward son or daughter; each have all lost what they hoped would be. Whatever the origin, they are losses nonetheless. There are other losses, each bringing their own pain. Careers that have been cut short through no fault of your own, dreams that are lost from the devastation of injury or illness, or relationships that have imploded as a result of a partners poor choices and sin. There are so many hurts that the list grows seemingly unending. Weep. Grieve. However, rise from your depth of pain and “wash your face.” We will see David do just that in tomorrow’s devotional. It cleanses both mind and soul. It brings us to the One who heals and works our good.