by Annette Bridges. © 2006. All rights reserved.
June 6, 1944, is famously known as “D-day,” which marked the day during World War II that the Battle of Normandy began, commencing the Western Allied effort to liberate mainland Europe from Nazi occupation. President Franklin D. Roosevelt described that June day to Americans as a “mighty endeavor” — an effort “to preserve … our civilization and to set free a suffering humanity.”
In military terms, “D-day” denotes the day on which a combat attack or operation is to be initiated. Its broader, general definition and usage designates the day that some significant event will occur or has occurred.
No doubt, each of our lives has been filled with significant events that have shaped us into who we are today. Perhaps these events are positive or negative in and of themselves, but nevertheless, they have become momentous and transforming landmarks in our life journeys.
Jesus had his share of “D-days,” as well. I think one was that day in a Nazareth synagogue when he read from the book of the prophet Esaias (Isaiah): “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord” (Luke 4:18-19). Then, after closing the book, he announced, “This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears” (Luke 4:21).
This bold and public announcement, it seems to me, marked his commitment to the mission he would go about fulfilling in the next three years of his life — a mission that is still revolutionizing humanity today.
Sometimes “D-days” are planned and expected and sometimes not. A “D-day,” for example, could be the day you got married or your child was born, the day a loved one passed on or you lost your job, the day you moved to a new city or graduated from college, the day you bought your first house or the day a hurricane destroyed it. Whether planned or not, days like this change your life or the course of your life in some dramatic way.
A “D-day” might also be the day you reached a major decision, gleaned a life-altering revelation, experienced or witnessed healing. I often like to imagine not only the many people who were healed by Jesus but also the impact on the folks who witnessed those healings. Such as the time Jesus healed a man lying on his bed, sick of the palsy. After Jesus healed him, we read, “But when the multitudes saw it, they marveled, and glorified God, which had given such power unto men” (Matthew 9:8). I know myself, when I see or read of healings through prayer and divine revelation experienced by others, I am filled with hope, and my faith, confidence and expectancy of healing in my own experience become emboldened and reassured.
It seems many of my most memorable “D-days” are ones that were my mightiest trials. Yes, it’s been my challenges and heartbreaks that, quickly or eventually, pointed me in a Godward direction toward healing solutions. Again and again, I’ve learned that trials are overcome more readily with a divine staff in hand.
I’ve come to think of trials as temptations to believe that God is both good and evil or that God creates and sends evil or purposefully wants His children to be inflicted by evil. But we read in the book of James, “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man” (James 1:13). So I’ve come to think of trials — however bad — as opportunities to conquer the seeming power of evil and prove it powerless in my life. The most difficult trials in my life journey are the ones that have prompted epoch-marking stages of growth and progress.
When faced with “D-days” we haven’t planned or wanted, we may exclaim, “Why, Lord?” In such times, I find encouragement in the fact that even Jesus had to face temptations. We read in the book of Matthew of Jesus being “tempted by the devil” in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1-11). Each time Jesus was confronted with a temptation, he immediately refuted it with a spiritual law of God.
We can do the same ourselves, when we’re faced with a temptation that suggests evil as a power and that we’re defenseless or helpless. Acknowledging and affirming the omnipotence and omnipresence of God’s law and word can enable us to defeat any evil temptation, just as Jesus did.
What I love most in reading about the temptations Jesus encountered and mastered is that after he had clearly won his battle, “angels came and ministered unto him.” It’s encouraging to know that when we grapple with our own temptations and prevail over them, we will have God’s angel messages of comfort and strength lifting us and sustaining us.
There’s a passage in the book of James which buoys my courage for any future unsought “D-days.” And Mary Baker Eddy’s definition of two words in this passage enhances its meaning. “Blessed is the man that endureth (overcometh) temptation: for when he is tried (proved faithful), he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him” (James 1:12).
Whatever the “D-days” in our lives, I think these monumental days become waymarks that guide us onward toward understanding the truth of our spirituality. And this truth liberates us from any evil trying to occupy our mind, body and spirit.