“Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy” (John 16:20).
Anniversaries of the death of a loved one are a struggle, especially as the date looms ever closer.
We’ve just dealt with the first anniversary of the death of my dear mother-in-law. It hasn’t been an easy year coping with the grief. There’s a mighty big hole that her absence has left in our lives. On top of that have been the important tasks of sorting her belongings and dealing with her estate. None of this is easy for anyone–especially on top of illnesses.
I was not looking forward to the date, as it crept closer and closer. My husband’s growing awareness of that date was affecting him too, as he began the process of putting his beloved mother’s house on the market.
However, it’s impossible to push anniversaries away.
It did come.
I could see my husband becoming quieter that evening, around the time that she had died, one year earlier.
My husband and youngest son were outside just minutes after that anniversary time. Neither of them could believe it when a fireworks display majestically exploded in the dark skies. It glowed and glittered, sprinkling the dark with surprises of colour and creativity. This beautiful light show continued for quite some time, entertaining our family.
We all marveled at this precious timing for us. It really reminded us that God is in control. He knows our deepest needs and our heart’s yearnings.
We were grieving separately. Yet here was a timely light show from heaven, bringing us together in joy. What a surprising message from God, helping us to focus on the celebration that my mother-in-law’s life had been. Oh how we beamed!
This was a precious reminder that my mother-in-law is celebrating with Jesus in heaven–a place that is more beautiful than we can ever imagine.
May the message of this precious timing of the fireworks display be a comfort to any of you, who are grieving the loss of a loved one. They are safe in the loving arms of Jesus, in heavenly worship more amazing than any fireworks display!
Prayer: Lord, thank You that You understand grief and loss and long to comfort and bless us. Thank You for the timely heavenly light show that gave us a glimpse of Your love for us. Comfort those who are grieving the loss of dear loved ones. Amen.
About the Author:
Kerryn Wright lives with her family amongst the gum trees in South Australia. She was a special education teacher prior to chronic illnesses. Her husband is carer for three of their family, who have chronic illnesses and disabilities. God has always guided them through life’s challenges, often in surprising ways.
How do you cope with difficult anniversaries? How has God comforted you in times of grief, when others don’t understand your pain? What other verses speak into dark times to bring joy?
This song is “The Best is Yet to Come” by Scott Krippayne, reminding us that despite the pain and grief we may experience on earth, we can look forward to heaven and all that God is preparing for us for our forever home. -Lisa