Getting up after great loss

The best moments in King David’s life read like a perfect Biblical Counselling story. That is because the best moments in King David’s life were the moment where he dealt with the great troubles of life in an outstandingly Godly way.

One of the most striking “perfect Biblical Counselling stories” from King David’s life is the account of how he dealt with the death of a loved one. In 2 Samuel 12:15-24 we are shown David’s exemplary way of dealing with the harsh realities of the death of a loved one. It reads like a “perfect Biblical Counselling story” that we can learn from even if our similar experiences are very different in the various details.

Having heard of the fatal sickness of his new-born child, David instantly goes to the Lord with the great anguish of his heart (1 Sam 12:15-17). The reason for this was very simple: He knew God is a gracious God, and might chose to let the child live (1 Sam 12:22). However, in God’s perfect plan, the child passed away. As soon as David heard about the death of his new-born, David’s actions changed completely. He went from mourning, fasting, and prayer, to getting up, eating, and teaching theology (1 Sam 12:18-23). Because David understood the finality of the reality of death, David was able to get up after such great loss. He knew both that his child would not return to him, and he knew that one day he himself would also die, and thus join his child.

Not only was David able to counsel himself back on his feet after such a loss, but he also sought to comfort others suffering the same loss (1 Sam 12:24). The conclusion of this part of the story is a confirmation of God’s love (1 Sam 12:24-25) .

After the passing of a loved one, we sometimes feel guilty for getting up and continuing our lives. We sometimes feel that we need to keep part of our heart in the past. But we cannot live in the past. The past happened, and then, passed. The past is no more. The present is. And while there was life, David prayed. But when death came, David acknowledged the reality, and based on his great loss sought to get up and continue with the realities of the present—in his case, the comforting of the mother of the child. Without forgetting the loss, David got up and lived with the new opportunities of that day. As a result he was able to experience a very tangible expression of God’s love in the birth of Solomon whose other name was “Beloved of God”.

Getting up after great loss
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