“Precious son, don’t cry,” I whisper, and I gently bounce and sway back and forth.
A song breaths through my lips as I hum into my little one’s ear. His fuzzy head and sweet, new-baby smell engulf my senses. So much joy, and yet, still remembrances of a deep sorrow…
He is not my firstborn.
He wasn’t the first I had labored into this world.
Will I get to hold him beyond his first week?
The road to now hadn’t been easy.
And while I try to forget, the memories flood back.…
I was a young wife – a wife.
Everything I had dreamed about was unfolding before me.
I was married to an incredible warrior. He was valiant, noble, and a hard worker.
I dreamed of our future, and prayed for his safety while at war.
Uriah. How I loved him!
It was at war, when the dreams began crumbling.I was bathing, cleansing myself from my monthly flow as is required by the Law. This was my time for purification before the Lord.
As I was finishing, royal messengers were pounding at my door.
My heart hammered furiously with anxious unknown.
You know the kind perhaps? A twisting in your gut?
They had a summons from King David, for me.
The King does not summon just anyone.
Was it Uriah?
My heart beat faster with fear, as I prepared myself for the worst.
But not this.
The King…. he had seen me bathing, enjoyed my beauty, and even though he knew I was married to one of his own warriors, who was at this moment in battle for the King himself, he had sent these men to bring me to him.
He clearly didn’t care whether I was married or not.
I knew, just as everyone else, that he was not even supposed to be here in the city.
All kings go to war at this time of year.
Why would our trusted king pull back from his responsibilities like this?
And so, I went.
Because who could refuse a king?
Just a short time later, I realized I was pregnant.
I tried to ignore the lingering “knowing”.
I just ate something that didn’t settle well, I would tell myself.
But I knew.
Deep down inside, I knew life was forming inside me.
I remember telling King David I was pregnant. I had sent a messenger with a note.
I didn’t know what he would do, or how he would respond.
But I knew that I had to do something. If my baby was born while Uriah was away, I would be a disgrace to my family; Uriah would certainly divorce me.
Weeks passed and I never heard from him.
But then news came…
Uriah, my dear husband, who fought so hard, and remained faithful to me, was dead.
His death plotted by the King as he tried to cover his own sin.
Sin brought death.
King David took me as his wife, again hoping to cover for his sin that no one would see how he had chosen his own heart’s desires over God’s.
I remember feeling my stomach grow; the baby kicking and turning.
First those movements felt of butterflies, then they began to jab just a little more until some days, my breath would catch.
Reminding me, this wee baby was part of me.
I grew to love him, even before he was born. The deep love I carried for him, steadied me.
Despite his beginnings, this little life needed me;
and I knew I needed him.
The labor was intense; I’d never felt pain so great, but then, neither had I felt such intense joy as when my eyes saw the one I already loved: my son.
But he became ill.
Though my body ached from labor, my heart’s pain for my baby was a hundred-fold more intense.
Just as I knew I was pregnant with him,
I knew I was going to lose my sweet baby.
I wrapped my arms around him and sang to him.
I whispered in his ear, “I love you, son, know that! You are mine. I am yours. You will always be part of me.”
He looked up at me, one last time.
And I knew he loved me, too.
And he was gone.
That pain is still so fresh.
That precious week I had to hold my son will never be enough;
yet I am thankful I had a week at all.
The sharp pain dulled little by little and one day, I realized I was with child again. My emotions were a muddled mix of fear, joy, and still… sorrow.
I begged the Lord to keep this child safe: to let this child live.
“Lord, give my baby wisdom beyond measure.
Let my little one to grow to be a great leader; a warrior of warriors.
Let this baby grow to know Your love.”
I was almost afraid to grow close to this new baby.
I was afraid to dream for a future with this little one.
My pregnancy crept along, but almost too soon, it was time.
When that time came, instead of fear, gracefully, I felt peace.
Throughout labor, peace consumed me, a peace I had not felt in several years.
Peace came with this baby.
Bathsheba is a well-known wife of King David, but the process by which she became his wife is ear-marked by David’s moral failure. Whether Bathsheba was a willing partner or not, Scripture doesn’t clearly say, but what the Bible does focus on is David’s own path of sin. Sin that started in his heart as he lusted after a woman who was not his wife.
And sisters, sin always gives birth to death.
This can mean death in relationships, death in advancements, or even physical death, like when David killed Uriah.
James 1:14-15But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.
Then desire, when it has conceived gives birth to sin,
and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.
But Bathsheba’s story highlights God’s gracious redemption!
God redeemed Bathsheba and David’s loss as she birthed the future king of Israel, who also authored part of the Bible: Solomon. She was the Queen Mother, having wise influence on Solomon’s decisions, and helping Solomon become King, which brought peace from chaos as King David neared his death. And amazingly enough… God even used her in the lineage of Jesus!
Heartache marked her life, but God’s redemption overshadowed her grief as she became a woman of valor!
Whatever our sin, whatever our circumstances, the God of redemption sees us, knows us, and loves us deeply. Let’s give Him our stories and let Him be our Redeemer!
Sketched III, Day 7
When we are in need of forgiveness and willing to confess our sin, He is faithful (1 John 1:9).
No. Matter. What.
That is how God extends peace – shalom – into our everyday lives. He gave His son as a pathway to our peace (Romans 5:1).
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