I know someone who likes to read the very end of a book before she starts at the beginning. I’m not sure how I feel about this, because I think I’d give up on reading a book part way through if I already knew how it ended. But I do think the idea of reading the ending of a book first makes a great illustration.
Not so much with literature, but in life, there are plenty of times where I’ve wanted to know the end of a story before something even began. When we get bad news, or we’re waiting for news, or we’re hopeful for news that just doesn’t come…it’s easy to wish we could see the light at the end of the tunnel and know for sure that a happy ending was in sight. At least, that’s how I feel.
It’s a pretty big exercise in faith and trust to be content in our circumstances when our circumstances don’t measure up to our desires or hopes. It’s hard to wake up to another day and think, “I’m ready to tackle another 24 hours while x scenario remains unchanged. And I can be completely positive about all of it.”
Isn’t this something we all wrestle at times?
I won’t pretend that I can’t look at my life and be thankful about any number of things, every single day. But is sure is hard when I feel like something should be one way and it’s another altogether, or when I’ve been praying for breakthrough for what feels like forever, and nothing appears to change. I want to know what’s around the corner…I want a count down clock on the issue that’s heavy on my mind, so I can plan and set my expectations accordingly.
I want to know the ending before the story unfolds.
I have to remind myself time and again of the stories that have come full circle in my life. Many answered prayers, many “Aha!” moments, many times where I’ve realized that the ending I thought I wanted wouldn’t have been the very best ending for me at all.
Seems like I have to realize this again, every time that God allows things we don’t think we want or need, and withholds things we’re absolutely sure we want…all for our good and His best. Why is this lesson so hard to learn?
I’ve had a lot of conversations with God today about how I don’t understand everything He’s doing or why. I’ve reminded Him again (as I’ve done so many times before), that He’s planted thoughts in my mind and heart that I’m expecting Him to see through to fruition–as if God needs to be reminded of His plan for me, through my human interpretation. It seems I keep needing the lesson in trusting Him…seems we’re never done learning or searching even when we know what we believe and we believe what we know.
Christmas is arriving and I’m not feeling very Christmassy today. Not feeling graceful or taken with all of the twinkling lights and seasonal music everywhere. What I am feeling taken with is the fact that the one story I do know for sure is, again, unfolding in the midst of a season of uncertainty for my heart.
Jesus came as a baby to save the world, and He’s coming again.
Maybe we don’t know the day or the hour, but we do know the end of the story. I’m not sure that without this great ending to the very best story, any of our other stories matter at all.
I don’t know what God is doing behind the scenes right now in my life…things I cannot and may never see this side of Heaven. I don’t know what God is doing behind the scenes for you, either. What I do know is that He is certainly behind the scenes, orchestrating his very best plans for us even when they don’t feel like any plans at all.
And Jesus makes His entrance here on earth as we tell and retell the story of His birth on Christmas, moving us ever closer to that hope-filled day when we witness the resolution of every story in His glorious return.
We are being restored, even when we cannot see it.
And I might not be graceful in the waiting and the wanting to know my story, but covered in grace, I know for sure. Same goes for you, too, my friend.