Mourning Over The Past

"How long wilt thou mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel." 1 Samuel 16:1

    There comes a time in life when we must stop mourning over the past and get on with the work of the present.

    God had rejected Saul from being king. The action
was final, irreversible. But Samuel had difficulty in accepting it. He
had been closely associated with Saul and he now wept to see his hopes
disappointed. He continued to mourn a loss that would never be
retrieved. God said, in effect, "Quit mourning. Go out and anoint
Saul's successor. My program has not failed. I have a better man than
Saul to step onto the stage of Israel's history."

    We would like to think that Samuel not only
learned the lesson for himself but that he passed it on to David, who
took Saul's place as king. At any rate, David showed that he had
learned the lesson well. As long as his baby was dying, he fasted and
mourned, hoping that God would spare the child. But when the infant
died, he bathed, changed his clothes, went to the Tabernacle to
worship, then ate a meal. To those who questioned his realism, he said,
"Now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I
shall go to him but he shall not return to me" (2 Sam. 12:23).

    This has a voice for us in our Christian life and
service. Sometime it may happen that a ministry might be wrenched away
from us and given to someone else. We grieve over the death of an
avenue of service.

    It may be that a friendship or a partnership is
severed, and that, as a result, life seems empty and flat. Or that we
have been cruelly disappointed by someone who was very dear to us. We
mourn the death of a valued relationship.

    Or it may be that some lifelong dream is
shattered or some ambition is frustrated. We mourn the death of a noble
aspiration or vision.

    There is nothing wrong about mourning, but it
should not be prolonged to the extent that it cripples our
effectiveness in meeting the challenges of the hour.  E. Stanley
Jones said he made it a point to "recover within the hour" from the
grief and blows of life. An hour may not be long enough for most of us,
but we must not be forever inconsolable over circumstances that cannot
be changed.