Everybody likes a happy ending. Whether you are reading a book, watching a movie, or watching a play, you hope that the story ends well. Indeed, it can be disappointing to get caught up in a story and then not have it end well. On those occasions, the story leaves us disappointed, sad, or even angry. We want a good ending; a happy ending.
Life is made up of stories. Each person’s life is a story. Each day in a person’s life is a story. From the moment we are born to the moment of our last breath we are part of an unfolding drama that involves people, places, and things. Sometimes the drama is rather mundane and ordinary. On other occasions, our stories can leave us breathless with fast-paced action. Parts of our stories are happy, and parts of our stories are not happy. Likewise, each story is unpredictable. We do not know what each day will bring.
In the book of Psalms, we read the thoughts and prayers of ordinary individuals trying to make their way through the world with their faith in God. Thus, it is not uncommon in the psalms to hear the cries of those who are trying to figure out the bigger story of their lives. For example, in Psalm 39: 4 we read, “Lord, let me know my end, and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is.” Here the psalmist prays to know how the story of their life will end. Will it be a good ending? In our own lives, we too sometimes wonder how it will all end. When we read or hear the latest news stories, we sometimes wonder how we got ourselves into such a mess and if there is any hope for the future. When you add your struggles to the mix it may feel as though there is no way the story can end well.
The apostle Paul never had it easy. Once he decided to follow Christ, he found himself in a daily struggle to survive. He endured beatings and imprisonments, shipwrecks, floods, and hunger. Paul knew what it was like to just get by living in the world. Yet, even with all these struggles and hardships, Paul knew how the story would ultimately end. Paul writes in Romans 8: 18-21:
I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory about to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God; for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.
Paul knew that despite all the difficulties that he faced in life that his life would end well. Indeed, it would end well for all those who trust in Christ Jesus. As Christians, we know that ultimately God will have the last word for all of creation, and each of our lives. The broken world will not have the final word, but a God of blessing will. When all is said and done, all will be well. Oscar Wilde, the great Irish poet, and playwright said it well: “Everything is going to be fine in the end. If it’s not fine, it’s not the end.” It is no wonder that the final word of the Bible is the word “amen” which simply means, “so be it.”
We can trust that God knows how the story will end for he is the author. And if God is the author, there will always be a good ending. So, Amen.