The importance of life sometimes comes into focus when faced with mounting pressures and unfading problems. For many, this can come in various forms – whether the prognosis of a fatal disease, or the loss of a too-good-to-be-true opportunity, or perhaps even a loved one’s passing.
Whatever the case, I have found that, at least in the moment, it seems almost impossible to comprehend how the situation could be seen as a good thing, something to learn from or recover. In fact, experiencing such moments can almost certainly seem like a failure, personally speaking.
Yet how do we bounce back from such troubling times?
Looking at examples in Scripture, I read about a king in the Old Testament who was praying for a son, and, after finding out several days later that his unborn child had died, ended up taking a very interesting turn of events.
“Then David got up from the ground. After he had washed, put on lotions and changed his clothes, he went into the house of the Lord and worshiped. Then he went to his own house, and at his request they served him food, and he ate. His attendants asked him, “Why are you acting this way? While the child was alive, you fasted and wept, but now that the child is dead, you get up and eat!” He answered, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept. I thought, ‘Who knows? The Lord may be gracious to me and let the child live.’ But now that he is dead, why should I go on fasting? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.”
- 1st Samuel 12:20-23
I have found the results to be two-fold; on one hand, experiencing the loss of a child is no small matter, but the response is just as crucial, and secondly, from what seemed like a choice between life and death was actually a choice between being unfaithful, and being faithful.
We often choose to blame circumstances people, even God, for our troubles in life. Despite our best intentions, however, we never really look within to sense God’s presence with us in the midst of life’s toughest choices, when we know He alone can give us the strength to carry on.
Our response is just as crucial as what we experience in our circumstances.
May God show us the way to continue on.