July 06, 2014

God’s Response: Writing a Happy Ending

Revelation 21:1-5

He will wipe every tear from their eyes.
—Revelation 21:4


In addition to a good beginning, every story also needs a good ending. A story is like a bus: a good one will pick you up wherever you are and drop you off somewhere else. 

Some of the best stories have a happy ending, in which the main characters live “happily ever after.” A really good story gives you hints of that as it goes along, but it also leaves you wondering how the characters will eventually get there.

The Bible presents us with the happiest of all endings in the book of Revelation. The struggles of our world draw to a close as the risen Jesus Christ finally returns to this world, bringing heaven and earth together. At long last he will wipe every tear from our eyes, every wrong will be made right, and we will live with God and each other, as in the beginning.

If you’re like me, you long for that happy ending, maybe without even knowing it. Life involves disappointments. The people in our lives disappoint us, our bodies become sick, or old age steadily erodes our sense of vitality. When we struggle, something inside us wants to sigh heavily, “It shouldn’t have to be like this!” That’s the sigh of every troubled teen, ­neglected spouse, or lonely widower.

God’s response is simple: “You’re right—it shouldn’t have to be like this. And in the end it won’t be. Just stick with the story until the happy ending.”

Lord Jesus, give us an eager­ness for the happy ending that awaits us at the end of your story. Amen.

About the author — Ron Vanderwell

Ron Vanderwell recently became the senior pastor of New Life Church in New Lenox, Illinois. He has been a pastor for 22 years, serving as a church planter for the previous 12 years at The Gathering in Sacramento, California, and before that as a pastor in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Ron and his wife, Deb, have three sons: John, Adam, and Jake. Ron shares more of his reflections on “squinting” for God in his blog at www.squintforgod.com.

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