Failure is rough. Loss is hard. When bad things happen to you that are thrust upon you it can be deflating, stressful, depressing, to name a few. But when it’s bred from things you’ve done? Choices you’ve made? When you can trace the failure and loss back to a moment that you were responsible for, anxiety and depression aren’t the only feelings you’re fighting. You’re fighting guilt as well.
That’s where we find David in 2 Samuel 12. After lying, committing adultery, exerting power in an oppressive way and freaking murdering a guy, we find David speaking with Nathan. Nathan calls David out on his actions and says the result of David’s actions will be the death of this child. (Whew, rough.) David mourns and then the child dies.
If you’re like me, initially you think “You’re mourning David? YOU? What gives you the right? THIS IS ON YOU! What did you think was gonna happen?” However, lately I’ve found myself empathizing with David. This great loss was his fault, his burden, and his guilt.
Recently I’ve gone through a bit of a loss. Not of a child mind you, but of some life plans and the trajectory I thought I had. And yeh, I could write the cause of the loss off to some other factors, but in the end, I see what I did that caused this. I see my mistakes that led to that loss. That’s not freeing mind you, that’s debilitating. Guilt is a powerful emotion and it leaves a huge mark.
But that’s not where the story ends. After the child has died, David finally eats and acts again. Then God promises David a new son. Not just any new son: it’s Solomon. The next King of Israel. The wisest man to live. Redemption for this story of Failure. My challenge now is not “How do I avoid this failure again?” (even though that’s a good question to ask) but rather “Will I get up and eat again? Will I act again? Will I look for God’s purpose and redemption in this failure?”
Let these lyrics from How Can it Be speak as our prayer:
Though I fall, You can make me new
From this death I will rise with You
Oh the grace reaching out for me
How can it be