1 Samuel 12:15-23 reads:
After Nathan had gone home, the LORD struck the child that Uriah’s wife had borne to David, and he became ill. 16 David pleaded with God for the child. He fasted and spent the nights lying in sackcloth[a] on the ground. 17 The elders of his household stood beside him to get him up from the ground, but he refused, and he would not eat any food with them.
18 On the seventh day the child died. David’s attendants were afraid to tell him that the child was dead, for they thought, “While the child was still living, he wouldn’t listen to us when we spoke to him. How can we now tell him the child is dead? He may do something desperate.”
19 David noticed that his attendants were whispering among themselves, and he realized the child was dead. “Is the child dead?” he asked.
“Yes,” they replied, “he is dead.”
20 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.
21 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!”
22 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.’ 23 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.”
I rolled up to the carpool line yesterday in my usual manner. I know I’ve been the talk of the line; I’m dressed up, hair and makeup done, Caitlyn in tow. I can hear the whispers and see the stares. Everyone is trying to figure out exactly what’s with me. But yesterday, a mom that I see often in the line couldn’t contain herself a minute longer. She blurted out, “You’re always so dressed up. How do you have time for that? All I have time for is a tee shirt and jeans. Aren’t you cold?” I smiled at her, not even letting her intended insult phase me. Instead, I looked back at her compassionately and said, “You make time for the things you want”.
When I came home, I began to meditate on what happened. I know I’ve been looking different lately but as far as I was concerned, it was an isolated incident, MY choice. I’m certainly not the only woman who wears makeup on a daily basis. I’m not the only mama with nice hair. So why were the changes I was making irritating other others around me so much?
That’s when this scripture dropped into my heart.
King David experienced the devastating illness and death of a child. However, those around him were watching his every move while he cried and prayed to God, pleading for his newborn son’s life. They had him all figured out. When his son did pass away, those standing by thought surely he’d take a turn for the worse once he heard the heartbreaking news.
But David did something that shocked the whole kingdom.
He got up, he bathed, he dressed himself, he asked for something to eat, and then, he went and comforted his grieving wife Bathsheba.
Pain, difficulty, disappointment and sorrow all have a scripts and costumes. You’re expected to look and behave a certain way when you go through certain things. People don’t know how to take it when you do the opposite of what they were anticipating.
I may not have pleaded with God for my child’s life, but I have pleaded with Him to keep some things alive that were slowly dying around me. When my high school best friend was diagnosed as manic depressive with psychotic episodes, I tried hard to hold onto what we had before. I loved him deeply, even romantically, although he wasn’t interested in me that way. We shared a very loving friendship. But once he was hospitalized and diagnosed, I felt what we had slipping away.
I’ve tried to repair relationships with relatives whom I love dearly. I’ve called. I’ve spent time. I’ve written letters. But no matter how much I tried, I felt it slipping away.
As I sit here today, thinking over the things that slipped away even though I tried so very hard to hold on to them, I look to King David as my inspiration.
Sure, it would have been nice to have been married by age 33.
It would have been nice to have a college degree.
It would have been such a blessing to have a loving relationship with this loved one or that one.
But it didn’t happen.
So what did I do?
I got up, I worshiped. I dressed up and I joined the celebration called life that was already in progress.
I’m sure the ladies in the carpool line mean no harm. They too want to celebrate something in their lives. They too want something to get dolled up about. They too want somewhere to go and a place to see.
And that’s the problem.
I’m not waiting for somewhere to go. I just decided to make any place THE place to be, even if it’s the carpool line.
I decided that everyone in my life needed to be taken care of and that includes ME.
I decided that just because I’ve been through some things and am going through some things, that doesn’t mean I have to look like everything I’m going through or have EVER been through.
I choose to look differently.
I’m the one dressed up in the carpool line.
I’m the one in full face and hair at the grocery store.
I’m the one smiling for absolutely no discernible reason.
I decided to make life a celebration anywhere, and anytime.
I’m not waiting to be invited to anything.
I’m already there.
If you’re waiting on your invitation to a joyful life, I’m here to tell you, you’re in for a long wait. The celebration is where you choose to make it.
Get your party hat and your pretty dress on. Get hatted and suited.
The place is HERE. The time is NOW.
That’s what makes life with Jesus so supernatural. He’s not limited to the “what’s” and “how’s” of life. He dwells in the place called “NOW”.
NOW I can be happy, not when I get married… not when I’m debt free.
NOW I can have peace, not when all my enemies disappear.
NOW I can have joy, not after every dream comes true.
With Him, “some day” becomes TODAY.