For David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, fell asleep and was buried among his fathers and experienced decay [in the grave]; but He whom God raised [to life] did not experience decay [in the grave].
No father should have to bury his son, but there would be no other end to this illness. The young man knew that his time was short, and he spent a lot of that time thinking about how he could have lived that brief life differently. Once he moved to home hospice care, his parents did not leave his side. On one occasion, when the end certainly seemed within reach, he felt the need to ask their forgiveness for every time he had acted against their wishes. They responded by telling him that all they ever wanted from him was his love and for him to show that love to others. In their eyes, since he had done that, he had done all they had asked and made them proud and happy.
I used to struggle with the character of this man David who is so revered in the scriptures. I had heard teachings of the king who was a man after God’s own heart and did all God’s will. [ v. 22] I also had heard teachings of the man who orchestrated the death of a friend in order to have the friend’s wife. I cannot be the only one who thought that someone who has faithfully completed all God’s will sounds like a picture of perfection, and David certainly was not perfect. What I failed to understand is that this statement is not about a perfectly completed life. It is about an imperfect man who led an imperfect life yet was able to fulfill every purpose God had for him in his time. The picture of faithful fulfillment need not be a picture of perfection.
It can be easy to look at the story of someone like King David and think that the Lord would never think so highly of us. Even with all his flaws, he accomplished incredible things, and our Savior even descended from his bloodline. Yet, I see the story of David as an encouragement that even the most imperfect of us is still able to finish every work God has planned for this life. He was just a man, just a person. He was not some spiritual superhero but a flawed yet faithful servant. We can be just as flawed and still be just as faithful. Father, help us to be a people after your own heart who fulfill your will in our lives, leaving no work undone when our time here ends.