The Comfort in Knowing
It always fascinates me when people tell me they have recorded a sporting event, or any other continuing saga, and expect that they will not hear the results prior to watching the recording. Given the communal times in which we live, it’s laughable to believe that the results won’t find you in some way. I don’t have that problem with results though. I can know the end and still enjoy the journey, or at least benefit from it in some way. Knowing the end does alleviate a certain level of stress but, I still experience all of the highs and lows and I enjoy the intensity just the same – or at least I believe I do. I recently went to see the latest requisite movie for all supporters of the United Federation of Planets. The movie was extremely intense and (though reality was suspended quite a few times during the duration) I absolutely loved it. These prequels are remarkable in that the writers and producers are able to tell a story, build interest and have people sit on the edge of their seats (and spend way too much money for the privilege), all the while knowing that the major players survive whatever the initial trials are because we know them in a future timeline. During the movie I saw, I had to keep reminding myself that all of them survive; Kirk would make it with Spock, Uhuru (in all of her newly infused prominence), Sulu, Bones, Scotty and Chekov in tow. I had to keep breathing as the epic battle, with a familiar enemy, was set up for the battle that has already taken place. The movie was awesome and I was quickly reminded of another epic story whose end I know. The story, with all of its ending glory, was written many, many centuries ago.
When we become Christians and embrace the inerrant Word of God, we learn the truth; in essence we learn the truth about the ending as we begin our journey toward it. How great is that? We learn that Christ is victorious; He has already conquered death and the grave. And we, who have accepted Him as our Lord and Savior, are victorious and have been reconciled to God because of Christ’s atonement for our sins. We know the end, even as our trials and tribulations lead to doubt of our personal victory. We know the end, even as the evil-one seeks to make us believe he has the final say. We know the end, even as terrible things continue to happen all around us and sometimes to us. We know the end, even as our personal struggles seem to knock the life out of us. We know the end, even as God must break us from habits that do not serve His purposes or ours. He told us that He works in the midst of all things so that, together, all things work for our good and for His purposes (Romans 8:28). If we take God at His word (and all Christians should), we know that even though we walk through what may seem like the valley with a shadow that seems like death, we should really fear no evil because He is always with us, strengthening us for our particular journey (Psalms 23). We know that even if this mortal life ends, it is not the END. We have a home not made by hand but, a home that is eternal in the heavens (2 Corinthians 5:1). We have a home where the wicked will cease from troubling us and the weary ones of us will be at rest (Job 3:17). Oh what Good News! It’s too good to keep to ourselves. Shouldn’t the knowing make us bolder witnesses, more assured in our walks of faith? Upon introspection, is there more we should be doing to spread the News?