You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in Your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.” Psalm139:16
Cinderella and happily ever after. Most of us grew up knowing at least something of fairy tales. When I was younger it was largely by reading books. In those days, Mr. Disney was just getting started and there were few animated films but slowly things changed. Over the years, what was once only printed on the pages of a book became alive on the screen before our eyes…and it was amazing. For years there were the classics, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Pinocchio, and Peter Pan to name just a few. And the list has grown and grown. When we watch them, we often want to be them. As the story plays out and ends with the dramatic “happily ever after” we sigh and long…if only.
Each fairy tale, every animated story begins with a “once upon a time…” It sets the stage for the story and then slowly, and almost invariably, the plot develops and oh so often there are plenty of bumps and bruises along the way. There is usually a bad guy or guyette and they slosh their mess all over the screen, hurting and wounding. And then, right when it seems that they are going to win…things turn around. Good overcomes evil, the weak become strong and the impossible becomes…possible. Just about then the “happily ever after” music begins and we smile at the end, we savor the redemption, and we leave feeling good but knowing that story could never be our story. Or can it?
You see, all our lives begin with a “once upon time…” All of us have a beginning. In fact, today just happens to be my birthday and on this day, I think about my, “once upon a time.” On that day a grand story began to be written. A little boy with dreams about a big future. A teenager trying to figure out what life was all about. A husband and later a father trying to figure that out—still trying to figure that out. Twelve years in the service of his country and forty years in the service of his King. Mountains and valleys, wins and losses, victories, and defeats—fighting monsters and dragons and loving his fair maiden and their princesses. Whew…what a journey.
And honestly, there were times when I would ponder how all this would play out. Having watched a whole lot of “redemption” movies where the end is always exactly how we would want it, I wondered, “What about this story?” Perhaps you have done the same. Perhaps you have wondered how your story will end. Perhaps you have longed for a different story…a different prince or princess, a different role, something, anything different. Well, I have some good news for you. The Playwright for your story never makes a mistake and never gets it wrong. He has been writing stories since before the beginning of time. In fact, the Bible says that He wrote every scene of your life before there was a “once upon a time.” In Psalm 139:16 it says, “You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in Your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.” Wow…how about that?
But wait…it might just get better. So, every story, including yours, can be like every fairy tale. A beginning, a story filled with up and downs, bumps and bruises, toads, and princes. But here’s the best part—every story can have a “happily ever after.” No, really. You see the same book and the same God who promises that every day, every scene in your story has been written and planned promises a “happily ever after.” Oh, it is not always here, though sometimes it is. It is in eternity. When we are willing to put our faith and trust in the Prince of Peace and the King of Kings we have the promise of an eternity that is beyond our wildest dreams. Believe what He did and choose to follow Him and heaven is the end of the story.
It is nice when the story, our story, plays out like we want and wish. It would be nice if every detail was just as we would have written it. Perhaps, but maybe not, because the One who writes the story, our story, is far wiser than us. We probably won’t be able to understand or see that entirely till the end but, well, that is what faith is all about. So, trust Him for the grand finale. It is going to be a wiz-bang finish. And until then…enjoy the show…savoring the good scenes and trusting in the hard ones. He’s got this. Bro. Dewayne