Many people experience an annual appointment with pain. Every year when a certain day arrives, the memories associated with those 24 hours come flooding back, forcing us to relive past experiences of pain or loss.
The day his heart stopped beating.
The day she told you she no longer loved you.
The day the military representative and chaplain rang your doorbell.
The day your teenager packed up and moved out without even saying goodbye.
The day your boss said, “Clean out your desk and give me your key.”
The day that should have been a birthday or a wedding or a graduation, but cancer or a drunk driver or an overdose or an insane act of anger feels like it stole your happiness forever.
There’s an old saying, “Time heals all wounds.” Unfortunately, time can sometimes make the pain feel worse. But God can heal all wounds if we are willing to let him.
The Judeo-Christian tradition introduced a new idea: progress. Situations can change. Tomorrow is not predestined to be a repeat of yesterday. Next year can be altogether different, which means anniversaries can change. The apostle Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 13:12, “Now we see but a poor reflection, but then face to face.” He was speaking about the difference between our perceptions in this world and the next. Our vision can be clearer even on this side of heaven.
We can become increasingly thankful as we see how God has used our pain to transform our lives. By God’s grace, instead of dreading annual appointments with painful memories, we can even begin to welcome them as once-a-year opportunities to thank God for His healing touch.
We need each other during those times of pain and healing. Jesus knew this when He broke bread with His disciples at the last supper and demonstrated that we are one body in Him. We celebrate this special moment every year with other Christians around the globe on World Communion Sunday. As Christians are the most persecuted group on the planet, it’s important to pray for our heaven bound family. Galatians 6:10, “As we have opportunity let us do good to everyone, especially those who are of the household of the faith.”
Let’s pray for the Church world-wide!
-Rev Dr William Lewis