In the evangelical church today it is sometimes looked down upon to grieve since we know the reality of heaven. This is both wrongheaded and unbiblical. Bereavement in Scripture is a reality and recognized as an important part of coming to grips with death. Far from stuffing his feelings, David personally expressed his grief and agony over the death of his best friend.
Here are a few observations about David’s lament: it was not only personal, but was voiced publically, meaning that others were invited to grieve along with him; it affirmed the tragedy of death and its deep impact upon us; it focused on remembering the positive characteristics of the deceased; and, it was verbalized with heartfelt thoughts and emotions.
Grief and lament is as individual as a fingerprint; there is not fixed process to a person’s bereavement. Therefore we cannot pigeon-hole ourselves or someone else to fit a certain way of grieving. But no matter how we grieve, we must do it so that we come to a point of making sense how to live without the person’s presence and relationship. David was close to the Lord, and God’s presence was the most decisive factor in helping him move on to the demands of serving others as their new king.
Compassionate God, you are present with all who grieve and lament this day. Let your Holy Spirit come alongside and encourage those in bereavement, and enable me to be a conduit of blessing to them. May your grace be sufficient for us all; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.