We got a little dog when I was four. Her name was Sassi and she was my best friend growing up. She slept on my bed and was always there to cuddle me. When I was experiencing hard things growing up she continued to remain at my side. She protected me and went everywhere with us. My dad could even get her to howl on command. My mom just loved when my dad would drive down the road dragging a pop can and getting the dog to howl. She died in my arms when I was 19.
My grandparents were so special to me and I have fond memories of them as they have all died. I have had friends who were so dear, coworkers who were killed or took their own lives. All of these people have been dear in multiple ways. Sometimes I find myself wanting to call them or tell them of the new and greatest. Sometimes I just wonder how they are. Other times I forget they are gone. Sometimes I miss them so much I can hardly stand it. Look at what they are missing. There is so much to share, I almost don’t want to experience anything else because it’s not the same without them.
So how do I just get over this? Them? You don’t get over the loss of a loved one. You only learn to live without them. Have you ever felt you were robbed from a loved one? Have you lost someone from a sudden accident, cancer, other illness, suicide, heart attack or you just weren’t ready?
I will be going through 2 Samuel 18 and 19. This is a story where King David’s son Absalom had turned multitudes against his father. David delegated his army creating rank and order much like our military today. He instructed his captains to handle Absalom gently. Absalom was spotted riding his mule. Absalom rode under a big tree where his hair or head got caught in the branches pulling him from the mule leaving him dangling in midair.
Joab was a captain in David’s army. One of the soldiers came to Joab and told him he spotted Absalom. Joab got angry and asked why he didn’t kill him. The soldier basically said not on your life would he hurt the kings son. So Joab went to clear things up and while Absalom was still dangling from the tree he stabbed him to death.
The war was over and everyone were going their separate ways. A messenger came to tell David the war was over. David was excited and then asked about his son Absalom.
“The king was stunned. Heartbroken, he went up to the room over the gate and wept. As he wept he cried out, O my son Absalom, my dear, dear son Absalom! Why not me rather than you, my death and not yours, O Absalom, my dear, dear son!”
2 Samuel 18:33 MSG
This was the pain of a child who turned his back on David. David was heartbroken and continued to grieve. Joab then addressed him in private basically telling him to get over it and take care of his solders. David saved face but was absolutely heart broke.
Many times we find ourselves being pushed to move past such devastating losses. How are we to continue and how are we to heal?
It doesn’t appear David was given any victory over his pain. He clearly grieved for a period. He was condemned to get up and go on. Many times when someone dies people tell them to get over it or move on, maybe even exhibiting a lack of compassion. Isn’t it tough enough to go through a death to have someone start telling you how to feel and how not to accept the pain? So what examples in the Bible help us to know what to do with the pain?
Worship is easier said than done but is it the key? I say it’s just the beginning of a long road which we will walk for a lifetime. It doesn’t get better. The pain is always there as long as we are alive. Granted the pain level can be reduced to become tolerable.
We are shown by example to pray, worship, fast, and continue our purpose. Moving forward isn’t easy but be assured the joy of the Lord is our strength. All things work together for good.
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
John 14:27 NIV
“Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted.”
Isaiah 53:4 NIV
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NIV
It’s easy to say all of these scriptures. But how do you let go of the pain? You decide to trust God. Embrace his purpose for you. In this lies joy, peace, love and happiness.
Be assured someday there shall be no more death. Revelation 21:4
““I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten—
Joel 2:25 NIV
The point is we may not understand the “why” behind the loss. We may not like the loneliness or simply to live without a person but our personal choice and decisions determine our joy and peace in spite of the circumstance.
Or you can continue to serve the ever living God who you don’t understand but trust He always has your best interest in mind. Sometimes we wonder if God doesn’t love us enough to make things easier but be encouraged, He loves you so much sometimes for your best interest He must make things harder.
Don’t forget to enjoy the ones you still have. So today rejoice, pray, trust, and praise the ever living God. Watch the pain dull and the victory rise in your life.
Philip Lukens is the senior pastor of the Carr Community Church. To receive updates please enter your e-mail address below and click subscribe.
As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.