by Rick Warren — July 18, 2023
From How to Get Through What You’re Going Through
“Then David got up from the ground, washed himself, put on lotions, and changed his clothes. He went to the Tabernacle and worshiped the Lord. After that, he returned to the palace and was served food and ate.”
2 Samuel 12:20 (NLT)
Imagine you went into work one day at a job where you’ve dedicated 10 years of your life, and suddenly they tell you, “You’re fired. Sorry!”
You would be in shock! You would be paralyzed and wouldn’t be able to think what to do. That’s how most of us would react to an unexpected loss.
But even in the grief, shock, sorrow, sadness, and struggle of a loss, God wants to start you on a path of peace so that you can heal. The first step is surrender, and part of surrender is to do something productive.
Maybe it’s just a little step. And you only have to take one small step at a time!
The Bible describes King David’s step forward after his infant son had died: “Then David got up from the ground, washed himself, put on lotions, and changed his clothes. He went to the Tabernacle and worshiped the Lord. After that, he returned to the palace and was served food and ate” (2 Samuel 12:20 NLT).
Why did he go to the palace? He’s the king, and the palace is his place of productivity. The palace is where he works. He’s basically signaling that he’s going back to work.
Do you think that, one day after his baby died, David is over his grief? Of course not. You don’t ever get over grief; you get through it. David is still grieving, he’s still sad, and he was probably still overwhelmed. But he took one small step of returning home and nourishing his body.
When you have a major loss—someone just walked out of your life, something precious is taken from you, a dream has died, you get bad news from the doctor—you have to take a first step toward peace.
If you wait until you feel like taking that first step, then you’re not going to feel like it for a long, long time. You just have to move forward in faith.
You don’t have to stop mourning to start moving.