Wednesday, May 14, 2008

I have to trust...

I have been going through a Beth Moore devotional on the life of King David. About a week ago, we started hitting the point in his life when he sinned with Bathsheba. We discovered all the ways that he first of all put himself in danger of sinning, then the ways he tried to cover it up, and then finally his reaction when he was confronted with his sin.

I wonder how many times we quench our consciences, the Spirit of God speaking to our hearts, and instead do what we want to because it is easier? It was so much easier for David to stay at home, rather than gear up for war, and head out into the field. It was so much easier to ask his servants who that woman was, than to turn his mind to the wives he already had in the palace with him. It was easy to let his mind wander into paths that were wrong thinking, when this woman that he saw was the wife of another man. It was easier on his pride to cover up what he had done, and get Bathsheba’s husband killed, than to confess it openly and ask forgiveness.

However, I was so caught by David’s reaction when the prophet Nathan confronted him. David immediately said that he had sinned against the Lord. (2 Sam. 12:13) Then when he was told that the child Bathsheba had born was going to die, and it was struck with a deathly illness, David prostrated himself before God. He wept and fasted and spent his nights lying on the ground.

When the child did die, David got up and ate and cleansed himself. No one understood, but David said it was because he hoped that while the child was still alive God might relent. Now that the child was gone, nothing could bring it back, not even his mourning for it. It makes sense. Once something is gone, there is no way you can get it back. David probably did continue to mourn the loss of his child. There is no parent I can think of that could ever go through the loss of a child without mourning it’s loss for a long time. But David knew that one day he would be with his child, that he would go to his child, though it could never come back to him. (2 Sam. 12:22-23)

In the study, it brought the point home that had David not experienced this time of extreme pleading and weeping and fasting before the Lord, he wouldn’t have been in a place to comfort Bathsheba later (2 Sam. 12:24). His pleading brought him to a place of complete dependence on God, which is where God wants us all to be… dependent upon Him alone. One of the many quotes from Beth Moore that I love follows.

David’s restored relationship to God enabled him to comfort his grieving wife. When tragedy hits, if we cast ourselves on the Savior and rely on Him for the very breath we draw, we will one day get up again. We will even have the strength to comfort another mourner.
pg. 296

Beth Moore talked briefly about how it might have looked when David fell on his face before God, and not only pleaded for his child’s life, but also just plain worshipped God. What was it like when he finally returned to public worship of his God? She asked a question of us as we walked through the study.

Have you ever returned to the Lord in worship after a painful loss that you believe He could have stopped? If so, you may view your return to worship as one of the most difficult and painful experiences of life. I suspect David would concur, but his return restored his sanity.
pg. 296

I thought about that. What painful loss have I suffered, after which I returned to worship? To worship a God who I knew could have prevented the pain I was experiencing?

Most recently, a loss that ended up driving me to a week long stay at the hospital, still has me in pain almost every time I go to worship. When I hear or sing certain worship songs about who God is, the all-knowing, all-loving God, it hurts deep inside because I know that He could have prevented my pain. I wrestle with the “why” questions. We may never know why something happened. I may never know “why” I needed to go through such pain. Why would a loving God allow all this in my life? Why I am going through such pain right now. Probably the more accurate question is “how?” How am I going to get through this? Am I going to do it on my own, using my own knowledge, my own coping mechanisms? Or am I going to allow the God, who let all the pain happen in the first place, to get me through this, and to heal me through this? I am still struggling. I don’t know the answer.

All I know is the first month out of the hospital, and back at church, in public, corporate worship, I couldn’t sit anywhere but the very back of the church; where I could escape out to the lobby to regroup and calm myself down. I cried and sobbed through every worship song, trying to sing, but unable to, because of the heavy burden on my heart, trying to stand up, but finding it impossible because of the grieving I was going through. As I look at it now, I can see the anger I had (and sometimes still have) towards God for letting this stuff happen to me. The things that put me in the hospital, the depression, and other things in my life that contributed to it, that contributed to my getting to the point of wanting to commit murder… wanting to commit suicide.

I hate admitting that I am angry at God. It makes me feel like a fool, and a failure as a Christian. Yet at the same time, I have to be honest. Somehow I have to cling to the hope that God, my Jesus, will get me through this. Somehow. I don’t know what He will do. I don’t know who He might help through me… whether it be through these rantings and ravings on my blog, or in person (!!!) I just have to trust that He has a plan. If He kept me alive, then He has to have a plan for me, or this is all for nothing. And I don’t think that I could bear all of this being for nothing.

I don’t know where this thread of hope comes from. My friends can be with me, encouraging me, and praying for me and lifting me up before the throne of God above… but when I am alone is when it all really counts. Somewhere deep inside there is a part of me that wants to believe that there is a purpose here, even when I am despairing. Something inside wants to believe that there is a reason that I am going through all of this, and that whether I see it or not, my experiences may be helping someone else. Maybe I will never know how. I guess, in the end, I really don’t need to. That is the hardest thing about all of this.

I just have to trust.

It sounds so easy doesn’t it. It sounds like a platitude. But it isn’t.

I have to trust.
Or there is no hope, and then life is meaningless.
I have to trust.
Or there is nothing to hang onto.
I have to trust.
Or maybe death is the only way out, because life is worthless.
I have to trust.

I can’t believe that this pain is all there is.


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