When You Need Closure
As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.
Item #1: A busload of Korean mourners gathers at the spot where the giant 747 crashed. They sprinkle flowers on the barren, desolate ground and offer prayers. Item #2: A father kneels by the grave of his 21-year-old son and cries, “I never got to tell you how proud of you I have been and how much I really loved you.” Item #3: The family of a young woman whose daughter was abducted as she drove home late one night wants to watch the grim execution of the alleged murderer.
Psychologists say that what all of these different individuals are seeking is the same thing. It is closure. In simple terms, it’s a putting something behind you and getting on with your life. In recent days, the word has become one of those sometimes-overworked words which are hard to define.
All over the world, people seek a way to deal with intense grief that doesn’t seem to end. Thus veterans are going back to the battlefields, where they lost buddies, trying to come to terms with the hatred and anger they have carried for a lifetime. People who lose loved ones hold memorial services, light candles, and spreading flowers on the sidewalk, and so forth.
Question: Is this good or bad? By and large it is good, very good. Some people live with open wounds. They are the walking wounded. They never recover from something tragic and live the rest of their lives in pain.
Closure can also mean finding God’s grace and strength to go on, to discover His power and help which you lack and know that there is forgiveness and help. What you cannot change, you should not allow to destroy you.
As I have contemplated this issue of closure, I’ve been thinking of a particular type of closure which some people desperately need, and that is the issue of not knowing whether or not God has ever forgiven them. Something happens. Perhaps it was a long time ago, yet they are troubled by it. A child goes to the hospital and an anxious mother asks herself, “Is God punishing my child for what I have done?” A husband is unfaithful to his wife, and many years after the event, he feels he must confess his wrongdoing.
Whether you ever realized it or not, God has given us the means of applying closure to the sins of our past, and it is His intent and purpose to let us know that when He forgives, the issue is closed. May I give you an example or two?
In Isaiah 43:25 God said, “”I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.” Micah 7:19 talks about God’s hurling our sins into the deepest sea, and Psalm 103:12 talks about our sins being as distant from us as the east is from the west.
All of these are pictures which tell us that when we repent of wrongdoing, when we seek God’s gracious forgiveness and confess and forsake it, God stamps CLOSURE on your file, and you will never face it again.
Closure is part of the healing process you need to get on through life. Thank God there can be closure and that you can go on to find His grace. Aristotle once said, “A whole is that which has beginning, middle and end.” The “end” part is also part of the whole. That’s closure.