Lately I have read several different blogs that had been posted on Facebook, all with the same basic theme:
God doesn’t promise us a happy ending.
Uplifting thought, right? I’m pretty sure no one wants to meditate on that for very long. I attend church, serve others and spend time with Jesus every day. I believe in His goodness and His love for me. Shouldn’t I get my happy ending?
Apparently not. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining about my life. I was recently in a wreck that totaled my car but left me with a small scratch on my shin. I have a family who loves me and more worldly possessions than I deserve. I’ve got a great life happening here in little Auburn, Alabama.
But no one’s life is perfect, no matter how it may look to you from where you stand. You struggle, I struggle, we all struggle in this world. And we think if we are doing all the right things our happy ending will be delivered on a silver platter by Jesus himself. We think that when we suffer we will one day arrive to that perfect place of happiness on earth that will make all the suffering seem worthwhile.
We might, but then again, we might not. Following Christ is not always a happy-go-lucky experience. Pain – real, gut wrenching pain – affects Christians and unbelievers alike. I don’t know why some people seem to sail through life while others experience unexplainable hardship and grief. I have friends who are devoted to Christ but have experienced the overwhelming loss of a child. And why was I born in the land of abundance while other children are born in Africa and will starve to death?
Questions like those truly boggle my mind. If I think about them too long I have to go get the Saran Wrap and wrap it around my head to keep it from exploding. There’s so much I don’t understand, but I know this: I have way more questions than answers. And that’s OK. The Bible is full of people who questioned God. They asked God “Why?” “Why not?” and “Where’s my happy ending?” Some got answers, some did not. But they asked the questions and kept their faith.
“These people were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.” (Hebrews 11:39-40) In other words, many of the Bible heroes did not receive on earth what they were expecting. Were they disappointed? Probably so. But they had an eternal perspective – they trusted that God had something better planned for them, something far greater than anything they could experience here on earth.
Cinderella doesn’t always find the glass slipper, and the beast doesn’t always become the handsome prince. But when we can look beyond earthly rewards and keep our focus on heavenly ones – now that will be the ultimate happy ending.