Today’s Study Text:
“And the Lord struck the child that Uriah’s wife bare unto David, and it was very sick…But when David saw that his servants whispered, David perceived that the child was dead: therefore David said unto his servants, ‘Is the child dead?’ And they said, ‘He is dead.’”
II Samuel 12: 15, 19
King James Version
Today’s Text of Encouragement:
“And God is able to make all grace abound toward you: that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.”
II Corinthians 9: 8
King James Version
“Bathsheba: Broken-hearted Mother”
“The death of a child is the single most traumatic event in medicine. To lose a child is to lose a piece of yourself.”
Dr. Burton Grebin
Have I lost a child?
How did this loss affect my life?
Where have I searched to find healing for this terrible pain?
“Tiny Angels rest your wings
sit with me for a while.
How I long to hold your hand,
And see your tender smile.
Tiny Angel, look at me,
I want this image clear…
That I will forget your precious face
Is my biggest fear.
Tiny Angel can you tell me,
Why you have gone away?
weren’t here for very long…
Why is it, you couldn’t stay?
Tiny Angel shook his head,
“These things I do not know…
But I do know that you love me,
And that I love you so.”
“Christ lives in me. The life you see me living is not ‘mine,’ but it is lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave His himself for me, I am not going to go back on that” (Galatians 2: 20, The Message Bible).
Of all the texts we have studied regarding the lives of David and Bathsheba, today’s passage for me is one of the most disturbing. Reading the Hebrew translation of the word “struck” made me feel even worse for this word means, “to inflict a plague, to smite, to put to the worse.” It is clear that there were consequences to David and Bathsheba’s disobedient behavior and no amount of pleading and weeping by the pair could change the outcome for the Bible reveals to us that the baby son who was conceived by their brief encounter died.
As I read this passage I thought, “Why is it that the innocent are often the first to suffer for the sins of others?” Even David asked God, “Why do the evil prosper?” He couldn’t figure out why, as often is said when an individual dies way too soon, “Only the good die young.” Frankly, I can’t answer this question. However, in the case of this innocent child, I do want to offer a larger view.
Many years ago, Jim and I were reading the Bible through and as we came to many of the same stories you and I have been studying, we found some of the stories so horrifically painful – even tragic. Innocent people died or were murdered and God seemed to stand by and do nothing.
We shared our questions with an older friend who was a real Bible scholar. As we told him how terrible some of these stories made God look, he knowingly smiled and said, “I know. God lays it all out there in the Bible.” And then he added, “Keep reading. It’s going to get worse.” Of course our mouths dropped open and then he continued, “God has the honesty, the credibility and most of all, the greatest love to let us, as His children, see the big picture. Sometimes this means that for the short term we might see only what we think are tangled knots – a very unlovely picture of our Father.” But he concluded with this point, “If we will trust our Father’s wisdom and love, in the end, He will not disappoint us for His only goal in our lives is the fulfillment of His perfect purpose.” Even in the life of a precious baby boy.
As I thought about the sorrow Bathsheba must have felt as she held the lifeless body of her precious child, it is difficult to imagine the heartache and guilt which likely consumed her. I wonder how many times she may have said to herself, “If only I hadn’t come to the palace. If only I had said, ‘No,’ then maybe my child would not have died.”
It isn’t hard to believe that throughout the rest of her life, Bathsheba’s heart had a hole in it, for there would always be a child missing. And for anyone who has lost a child, no matter the circumstances surrounding that loss, the pain of an empty bedroom or a vacant chair, strikes deep into any person suffering this type of tragedy.
As I was studying about the heartache which accompanies such pain, I was blessed to find a commentary written by Mrs. Nancy H. Miller, a mom whose twelve-and-a-half-year-old daughter Susan died. Her thoughts are the reason I chose the text in Galatians 2: 20 to begin this inspiration. Here are her words:
To Live Again
“It is no longer I who live,
but it is Christ who lives in me.
And the life I now live in the flesh
I live by faith in the Son of God,
who loved me and gave himself for me.”
Galatians 2: 20
“When our twelve-and-a-half-year-old, Susan died, I felt like one of Picasso’s painted women, with a hole in my middle – empty and grotesque. There was no way I could go about every day; living in my own strength. Only God could fill that void and make up for what I lacked.
The words, “it’s no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me,” were daily in my mind and on my lips until the emptiness began to fill and I stood again, alive and whole.”
Whatever the loss that has emptied your heart and left you feeling as though the void will never be filled, may the love of our Father, which is a comforting and sustaining love, surround you today.
Don’t Tell Me
“Please don’t tell me you know how I feel,
Unless you have lost your child too,
Please don’t tell me my broken heart will heal,
Because that is just not true,
Please don’t tell me my son is in a better place,
Though it is true, I want him here with me,
Don’t tell me someday I’ll hear his voice, see his face,
Beyond today I cannot see,
Don’t tell me it is time to move on,
Because I cannot,
Don’t tell me to face the fact he is gone,
Because denial is something I can’t stop
Don’t tell me to be thankful for the time I had,
Because I wanted more,
Don’t tell me when I am my old self you will be glad,
I’ll never be as I was before,
What you can tell me is you will be here for me,
That you will listen when I talk of my child,
You can share with me my precious memories,
You can even cry with me for a while,
And please don’t hesitate to say his name,
Because it is something I long to hear everyday,
Friend please realize that I can never be the same,
But if you stand by me, you may like the new person I become someday.
(In Memory of Shane)
“Mary, you had a son. You lost your son in the prime of life, I too.
Were your tears bitter, reflecting the injustice?
Were your tears a torrent, reflecting the anguish?
Were your tears hot, reflecting your anger?
Did your soul become barren in the salty river?
Did your faith grow dark, extinguished in tears?
Did your love shrivel as your tears dried?
Did you withdraw to nurse a wounded heart?
Did you curse and shake your fist at God?
Did you retreat into the past grasping at memories?
(the feel of a baby, new in your arms
the smell of a boy, sweaty from play
the sound of a teen, raucous and gay
the look of a man, who is ever your baby)
Did your weeping stop?
Did you live again?
Did you love again?
Did you believe again?”
Mrs. Joanne B. Gelbraith
The answer to this heartfelt prayer is found in Acts 1: 13,14 (K.J.V.) where after the time of Jesus’ ascension, we find His mother Mary, in prayer and supplication:
“And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James (the son) of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas (the brother) of James. These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.”
Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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