(originally published March 31, 2011)
"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. And the servants of David were afraid to tell him that the child was dead, for they said, "Behold, while the child was yet alive, we spoke to him, and he did not listen to us. How then can we say to him the child is dead? He may do himself some harm. But when David saw that his servants were whispering together, David understood that the child was dead. And David said to his servants, "Is the child dead?" They said, "He is dead." Then David arose from the earth and washed and anointed himself and changed his clothes. And he went into the house of the LORD and worshiped. He then went to his own house. And when he asked, they set food before him, and he ate." 2 Samuel 12. 15-20
Have you ever found yourself in an incredibly difficult season of life, and the last thing you felt like doing in your pain was worshiping God? Nobody can hear your answer, so you can be honest with yourself. I will be honest with you and say that I have been there a few times. In fact, I was just there, and even yet find myself there at my low points if I'm not careful.
A few weeks ago I wrote to you that I was going through the most difficult season of my life, as I shared with you the importance of staying connected to the true vine, Jesus, as John 15 illustrates. These past four weeks have been without a doubt, by far, the hardest of my 26 years. I have felt a pain I never thought existed.
When I first experienced the loss that brought me into this season, the last thing I felt like doing was worshiping God. I couldn't even say anything because the tears were overwhelming. I just collapsed onto the ground and felt a piece of myself die on the inside. Worship was not my first inclination...doubt was.
I wish I would have been stronger, but I wasn't. However, I soon discovered the story of David in 2 Samuel 12, when he experienced the loss of his son. I was amazed as I read this heart wrenching story. I can't even imagine the loss of a child, yet David finds himself in this situation.
For me, though as heart wrenching as the story is, it has offered me much encouragement. Why? Because it directed me to worship my loving Father rather than to sit in my suffering.
I don't know if you could find a much better example to worship God, no matter how hard the season, than this example that David has shown us. After he hears of the death of his son, he gets up, gets clean, and goes into the House of the Lord to worship.
All I can say is...wow.
It's easy to worship God, and to praise Him when life is good for us. But what if life isn't so good for a season? Whats if it's hard? Maybe it's hard for you right now, like me. Oh, we must worship God all the more! When the season is dark, difficult, and we don't feel much like doing anything but crying, cry out to God! That is when our faith is most tested and we need Him all the more.
Remember, regardless of the season, God is always good! Yesterday, today, and tomorrow, He is good! Remember the eternal gift He has given you through His only Son, Jesus Christ. That's enough to make me want to worship! Because I know that no matter how heart wrenching my own season is right now, one day I will be able to sit at the supper table with God himself for the banquet of all banquets, and it will be there in His heavenly presence that I will find no more suffering. Ever. And that alone, aside from all the other blessings He has bestowed upon me, lifts my heart to worship.
I don't share this story of mine for pity or attention...in fact, being transparent is very hard for me. I share this with you so that I may encourage you to not make the same mistake I did by containing my suffering, instead of releasing my worship. My prayer for you would be that you would learn how to release worship in your life. That when the wind blows and beats down on you, your first inclination would be to worship God! And there, watch Him intervene with His never ending love.