Written by David Brown: David Brown is a husband, father, grandfather, Pastor with a Masters of Religious Studies and a Professor of Philosophy and Comparative Religions. Dave is the Associate Pastor of Pemberton’s First Baptist Church. He is the author of two devotional books, “From a Chair by the Window.” And “#PrayerWinsThe Day”.
When it hurts…
Posted on November 3, 2022 by Elizabeth Welte in Freedom Fighters
Many things tear at our hearts, but none more than grief. Grief rears its devastating claws when a loss occurs; events such as a loss of employment, loss of health, loss of home or relationship, betrayal, and death. Grief hurts – it is exhausting and debilitating, and there is no remedy. We are told that time heals all wounds, but that is not so; all who have been wounded know how those aches and pains surface at any point and cripple us physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Unfortunately, some remain in their grief for too long, believing the pain gives them purpose; others push it down deep in their soul and pretend they are in control. Neither scenario is healthy, for both eat away at our souls, leaving us as shadows of what we once were.
By a certain age, many of us have known several of these losses, each clawing at the previous wound until your heart appears as a battle zone of overlapping scars.
The Bible tells us that by the time David was in his mid-twenties, he had lost his role in the king’s court, lost his marriage, lost his dearest friend, and had become numb to his senses. His losses had left him alone in a cave to contemplate his future. I believe the greatest of these losses was his friendship with Jonathan. His marriage was awarded for service, and his role in the court was based on his fighting ability, but of his friendship, God writes, “their souls were knit together.”
When Jonathan finally understood that his father intended to kill David out of an envious heart, their final moments together took on a sense of loss that invaded every ounce of their being. Scripture depicts those moments as follows, “David rose from beside the stone heap where he was hiding and fell on his face to the ground and bowed three times. And they embraced one another and wept with one another, David weeping the most. Then Jonathan said to David, “Go in peace, because we have sworn both of us in the name of the Lord, saying, ‘The Lord shall be between you and me, and between my offspring and your offspring, forever.’ And David rose and departed on a trail that eventually led to a lonely cave, and Jonathan went into the city.” (1 Samuel 20:41-42 ESV)
The cave was not the end of David, and he did not remain there long… Yes, grief is devastating, it is exhausting, and there is no remedy… But there is Hope! His name is Jesus, who is God’s comforting Word and fulfillment of every promise. God has promised to never leave us nor forsake us. He accomplishes this by “sending His only begotten Son, Jesus, into our world, so that all who believe will not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). God causes this relationship to continue by implanting the Spirit in the heart of every believer. The Spirit is the very essence of Jesus and intimately infuses us with every quality, action, consequence, and inclination of Jesus. Paul refers to this when He says our flesh is crucified with Christ and no longer lives to control our inclinations. Still, the life every believer lives now, on this side of the cross, is infused with the renewed discernment and wisdom encapsulating Jesus’ life. (Galatians 2:20; Romans 12:1-2)
As for time healing all wounds… what time does allow for is opportunities for God to mend, heal, and fill up our lives with His goodness and grace. Consider Jonathan’s last words, “Go in peace, because we have sworn both of us in the name of the Lord, saying, ‘The Lord shall be between you and me, and between my offspring and your offspring, forever.” Our bond of friendship, forged over time and welding our hearts through shared experience, surfaces over time. When David had solidified his reign over Israel, he asked, “Is there anyone still left of the house of Saul to whom I can show kindness for Jonathan’s sake?” He was told that a son of Jonathan named Mephibosheth, crippled in both feet, was still alive. David restored all that belonged to him and fulfilled a covenant loyalty known as ‘Hesed,’ better understood as loving-kindness. David had lost someone he loved, and it grieved him, but because of their shared bond anchored in God, their relationship lived on in this act of loving-kindness.
It is days like today that claw at my grief and bring some of that lingering pain to the surface. But then Jesus, through the work of the Spirit, begins to replace those old wounds with shared acts of loving-kindness, moments of joy found in songs, memories of laughter and service together, shared stories, and the hopes and dreams we have for our children.
There is one more act of loving-kindness given to us by God that every believer longs for – we will be together again! There is a time before us when we will sing together a new song, a song full of hope and majesty, and grace, whose lyrics transcend all understanding and praise. The Bible depicts the singing of this song this way, “Then I (John) looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures, and the elders. Then, in a loud voice, they sang, ‘Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!’ Then I heard every creature in heaven, on earth, under the earth, and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing ‘To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, forever and ever!’ The four living creatures said, ‘Amen,’ and the elders fell down and worshiped” Revelation 5:11-14).
Grief hurts, it’s exhausting, and there is no remedy, BUT there is Hope, and it is found in Jesus! For those who accept His salvation and receive His Spirit, the time of our grief will end. We will then share in an eternal state where there is no pain or grief, and we will sing of our wonderful savior, Jesus Christ, forever.
Choose wisely… my friend
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: “Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone…” – Ephesians 2:19-20