Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | May 23, 2023

Wash Your Face

“So David got up from the ground, washed, anointed himself, and changed his clothes; and he went into the house of the Lord and worshiped.” 2 Samuel 12:20

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I get into these funks of “if only” and “I wish I would have…” Most recently, for me, it was around Mother’s Day when I considered both my mother and my mothering. I imagine that every parent reading this thinks about these things occasionally, especially if their kids are teens, young adults, or older. Maybe we look at how a child is living and the choices they’re making and wonder, “If I’d only done ___________ when he/she was younger…” or “Maybe if I decided to do X instead of Y, things would be different for them.” Or, if you’re like me and have lost one or both parents, it’s easy to list the regrets of how you treated them, or things said—even rehearsing those terrible teen/20s attitudes and interactions with them that shaped years (or decades) of relationship. Oh, to relive those yesterdays with the wisdom and understanding of today. (Or is that just me?)

But friend, we simply cannot. (First, though, let me remind us all that we did the best we could with what we knew—and who we were—at those times we’re looking back to.) We can’t go back and change our decisions to shift trajectories. Plus, we don’t have any clue about whether that revised trajectory would be better or worse! And we certainly can’t change the words and actions of other people, which ultimately set the path for their lives.

As I was meandering through Regretville, I got to 2 Samuel, chapter 12, where the prophet Nathan rebukes David for his sin against the Lord. (I suggest you go back and also read chapter 11—it’s got all the elements of today’s Netflix hits: adultery, deception, murder…). But it was only when Nathan confronted David that David’s eyes were opened to everything he’d done. The man truly had a lot to regret. And although David was “a man after God’s own heart”, a valiant warrior for the Lord, the king of God’s people, and the ancestor of the Greater David to come, Jesus, there were consequences for his grave sin. Sadly, despite David’s fasting, weeping, and praying, the child he conceived in adultery became sick and died. Then came another fascinating part of this event: David got up, washed, put on fresh clothes, and worshipped the Lord (v19-20). He understood the sovereignty of God. While the child was still alive, David prayed for what he wanted the outcome to be. But when God’s outcome came to pass (a painful, horrible outcome in David’s—and our—opinion), David worshipped the Lord for His providence. Moreover, David’s theology was rock solid, knowing that he would see his child again in heaven—what a profoundly encouraging Biblical truth for us. David turned from the “what ifs” and grabbed hold of his now, determined to be more focused on the Lord.

A few days after I read through these Biblical events, I came across this quote from John Piper that beautifully summed up these Old Testament chapters, along with putting a pin in my mental road trip: “Occasionally, weep deeply over the life you hoped would be. Grieve the losses. Then wash your face. Trust God. And embrace the life you have.”

We all are in different seasons of our life—and, for believers, we’re in different sanctification places. Right now, it could be smooth sailing. But maybe it’s rough waters…or even the storm of storms that are beating you senseless. Wherever we are, GOD IS SOVEREIGN. He’s got you—and me. We pray (and plead), and we trust, knowing that He “causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). And He intends for good even things and people of this world intending evil (Genesis 50:20). Note here, God doesn’t “use” or “turn” evil situations to good—like, “Oops, I wasn’t expecting that, but I can turn that around.” No, these situations are all in His hands, from the beginning, for His glory. We may be able to look back in time and see that…or we may have to wait until we’re in heaven and look back through eternity to understand. Either way, it’s OK. We are in His hands.

“Lord, as we continue to walk through this dark world—yesterday, today, and tomorrow—remind us to keep our eyes on You, trusting You to bring about our good and Your glory.”

For His Glory

Julianne Winkler Smith
TRBC Women’s Life

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: