David’s life is filled with much good. He was known as a man after God’s own heart. (Acts 13:22) But there was also much tragedy in the life of David. One of the saddest statements has to do with his relationship with Absalom after he had killed his brother Amnon. Absalom fled to another country and had been there three years when the Bible says, “And the spirit of the king longed to go out to Absalom.”
What a sad statement because the clear inference is that, though he longed for Absalom, David never reached out to Absalom. He never sought to express his forgiveness. He never sought to restore their relationship. His own son and he let him languish in a far country even though in his own heart he longed to be reunited with him.
Sadly, I have seen this many times in my life as a pastor. Situations where there is great hurt and the parties are embittered toward one another. Often this happens within families. I have seen parents who long for their children but in their own stubborn pride they will not reach out and take the first step. They will not be the one to humble themselves and seek restoration. I’ve also seen children act exactly the same way. Or friends with friends. One of the hardest things to do for us, it seems, is to forgive when we have been hurt deeply — — even though our heart longs for the one who hurt us. Perhaps we could learn from the life of David and the tragic consequences that followed that it’s definitely worth it to humble ourselves and forgive and reach out in love to those for whom we long.
Prayer: Father, help us to remember just how much you have forgiven us. Help us to truly know how deep was our rebellion against you and our hurtful sin to you. Yet you forgave and reached out to us in love and grace and mercy. Father, help us to forgive just as you have forgiven us in Christ Jesus.