This past weekend, I watched a movie trilogy that I had not seen in a long time. As I watched the Matrix, Matrix Reloaded, and Matrix Revolutions, I noticed that I had forgotten many of the scenes in them. I caught myself on the edge of my seat at times, as if I was watching them for the first time. The truth is, although I had forgotten many of the scenes, I knew exactly how it all ended. Spoiler alert…the good guys win. At one point, I wondered to myself, why am I tense while watching all of these action scenes, as if the good guys might actually lose? I know what happens. In the end, Neo (the hero of the movie series) defeats the enemy and wins freedom for all of humanity. When I would remind myself of the ending, I just sat back and relaxed.
The ending of the Matrix trilogy was spoiled for me, because I had seen it all before. However, I watched it anyway, and I enjoyed it! I pondered the way this experience of knowing the ending could help me with my own everyday struggles. As I face rejection, failure, hurt, and loss, I rarely see them coming. They blindside me like the forgotten scenes in the movies where the bad guys seemed to have the upper hand. These valleys of life are hard and we often have no idea how in the world we will possibly make it through them.
If we could only “know the ending” and know that it turns out okay, maybe we could at least hold onto the hope we need to carry us through the parts of our story that catch us off guard. Perhaps that’s why God focuses so much on telling us certain details of who He is, who we are, and what some of His ultimate plan is. Knowing, remembering, and residing in some of those core truths just might give us the ability to sit back in our seats a little when our life seems to be going the wrong way, rather than being completely overcome with anxiety, anger, and feelings of hopelessness.
The promise of God’s unconditional love and His desire to give us good things are good examples. Love without conditions is a love that lasts forever. It is not reliant upon our efforts to earn favor. He does not withhold His love when we fail. He does not stop offering good things to us just because we have done something bad. The rejection by others is never an indication of how our Heavenly Father feels about us. Our very identity (who we are) is wrapped up in this unconditional love. We are loved. Period. Because of His love, He gave his Son to free us, and He continues to meet our needs. That is the beginning, middle, and definitely the end of the story. Nothing we experience will change that, even though in some of life’s moments it will certainly FEEL like nothing good will ever come to fruition.
In the end, God’s perfect will is done. As His children, we get to experience all that comes with having a relationship with God through Christ. Nothing will change the fact that, after all is said and done, there is a happy ending in which all that God has promised will be realized and fulfilled. Evil, brokenness, hurt, rejection, and failure will not triumph in the end. Love, restoration, peace, healing, and all that is deeply significant will win. And we can trust in that truth because God loves us and always keeps His word. He never fails.
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