As I sat in my front pew listening to the announcements, little did I know that I was about to experience something unlike I had ever experienced before. “There will be a Men’s Movie night this Friday beginning at 7pm.” “I would like to welcome all the visitors and ask them to fill out a white card so we can have a record of your attendance.” “We had a baptism this past week and would like to welcome our new brother in Christ.” “On a negative note, one of our sisters passed away at 8am this morning.” I can still recall the gasps which rang in harmony as we learned that one of our dear sisters in Christ went home to be with the Lord after battling cancer. You may be reading this and saying, “What is so unique about that?” “People die all the time!” The thing that amazed nearly everyone in attendance that morning was her husband was sitting in the pew ready to worship. Didn’t he realize that his wife of 43 years had just passed two hours prior? Didn’t someone tell him that he was supposed to be with his family during this time? If there was ever a time to miss a worship service it was then.
As I made my way into the pulpit to begin leading the congregation in song, I couldn’t help but think of King David. In 2 Samuel 12:15-23 we read where David’s son is very ill. David fasted and went into his house and spent the nights lying on the ground. 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. On the seventh day the child died and his servants were afraid to share the news with David. He noticed his servants were whispering and realized that his child was dead. Then David got up from the ground, washed himself and went into the house of the Lord and worshipped. This confused his servants so they inquired as to why David was reacting in this manner. His response: “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 fast? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.” (vs. 22-23)
On that Sunday, I saw a real life David standing before me, and as a church we unified together in the presence of the Lord and worshipped (for many of us) on a deeper level than we had before. I am in awe of this brother for his demonstration of faith and for aiding me in further development of mine.