David was a man after God's own heart, someone who I realized, I really need to be more like, but in female form, of course.
In Chapter 12, David confesses to Nathan that he has sinned against God. While Nathan tells him that God has forgiven him for his sins, since he showed utter contempt for the word of God, his child would die. The God of the Old Testament is ruthless, I know.
David begged, pleaded, and even stopped eating, praying to God to spare the child. David's closest advisers prayed for him to eat, but he refused. After 7 days of lying on the ground and not eating, David's child died. His advisers were terrified to tell him what happened, and whispered amongst themselves as to how they'd break the news. David was unreasonable and inconsolable when the child was alive -- how would he react to the child's death?
David realized what was going on, and asked if his child had indeed died. When the advisers told David that his child had passed, David got up from the ground, changed his clothes, and went to worship God. Then, he returned to his palace and ate a meal.
His advisers watched in disbelief! "We don't understand you, David," they said. "When your child was still living, you wept, refused to eat any food, and wouldn't listen to any reason or logic! But now that your child is gone, you are no longer mourning and are eating again? This doesn't make any sense!"
David replied, "I prayed, fasted, and wept while my child was still alive. I thought that maybe God would show me his graciousness and mercy and spare his life. But God didn't answer that prayer. Why would I fast now that my child is dead? I can't bring him back. Someday, I will go be with him, but he can't return to me."
But even though God took away David's son, he also restored something to David. Shortly after this, David and Bathsheba bore a son, and David named him Solomon. Solomon turned out to be the wisest and richest man that ever lived.
This story is a profound lesson in letting go and trusting God's plan, even when it doesn't feel good.
Recently, I got out of a relationship that had taken a turn for the worse. It was as much my fault as it was his fault -- we started relating to each other in really harmful ways. Personally, I believe everything can be fixed through communication and prayer -- but sometimes God doesn't answer our prayers in the ways we see fit.
For months, I prayed for for God to restore our bond, to fix the hurt, undo the brokenness, and let us have a beautiful story of redemption and glorify Him along the way.
But I also got to a place where I was being severely damaged in this process. I spent months crying, not only as my prayers weren't being answered, but that my needs were being repeatedly ignored.
I grew angry not only at God, but at the person I was in relationship with. In retrospect, the situation was becoming toxic. I knew that, but I kept praying for things to get better.
God took it upon Himself to remove this person from my life. As much as this hurt, and honestly still does hurt, I don't think there are any more prayers to pray, meals to skip or tears to cry. This is an incredibly painful situation, and yet, it's over. It's done. Nothing I can do can bring this relationship back, much like David could not bring back his deceased son.
So now what? Well, if I want to be more like David, I need to praise God. Sometimes I think I may have made my relationship an idol. I severely abandoned my relationship with my church for various reasons, and my heart was no longer after God's. When I began this relationship, I was heavily involved in the church, serving every weekend, and in an internship where I was chasing down God's purpose and calling for my life.
There were a lot of extenuating circumstances that have happened over the past 3 years that caused a rift in both my personal and spiritual relationships. When my relationship with God started to falter, the other relationships in my life started to fall apart. Until my relationship is right with God, I know that no other relationships will fall into place.
I also need to understand that when God takes something away, he's still able to bless us, sometimes with things even greater than we ever could have imagined.
That doesn't mean we don't still feel pain. That doesn't mean we don't mourn. That doesn't mean we don't need to go to God to heal. We need to do all of those things.
But don't try to raise that dead. Don't try to open doors God has closed. Don't pray for something that's already gone.
Instead, pray, praise, trust, and wait.
Greater is coming.