This August is special for my wife Beth and me. We celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary. A lot of life, challenges, and blessings have been packed in those years. Anniversaries are special because something that was started has taken on a life of its own. Paul said in Philippians 1: 6 “being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
Beth and I felt like we could do more and be more for Jesus together than separately. God began a good work on August 14, 1982. We heard the words “what God has joined together let no one put asunder.” When we celebrate anniversaries, we focus much on the start. Despite our very different backgrounds and ways of doing things, God blessed us and got us through some very difficult challenges. 40 years later we know God provides, forgives, redeems, and renews.
I know this subject of marriage produces a lot of pain and controversy. God also heals, restarts, gives re-dos; He is always looking to re-begin a good work. An anniversary can mark a point in time when all the bad stopped and some good finally started. In recovery, the date a person stops using becomes a major anniversary. The start is so important.
While the start marks the anniversary date, the journey tells the story. As Beth and I celebrate 40 years of marriage, we will be celebrating raising four kids, riding our bikes across the U.S., having a home, serving Jesus where He leads, and watching UNC basketball. Yet we will be remembering disappointments, open heart surgery on one of our children, overcoming rejection, fighting health challenges, and losing loved ones, particularly our older son, Nathan. Yes, 40 years of marriage is a journey worth celebrating!
Anniversaries have a celebratory start date, reflect on a meaningful journey, and inspire for the future. As Beth and I celebrate our 40th we cannot help but think ahead of what God has in store. On our 5th anniversary, we did not know that four kids were in the future. When we celebrated our 20th anniversary, we did not know that the Frederick Rescue Mission was part of our future. Moving forward we know the God who began the good work and has proven faithful along the way will complete what He started.
Anniversaries should encourage us that change doesn’t have to be immediate but that by being faithful over time we can see some significant changes and blessings. May God bless you with life and life abundant!