The guy gets the girl, the baby survives the deadly disease, the kid makes the team and, against all odds, leads them to victory. This is the most predictable thing in the movies, yet we swoon over the padded endings like crazy. For some reason we love happy endings, but why? Why do we let this false reality discourage our real lives?
Before you think I’m too much like Adam Sandler’s character in Bedtime Stories, think again. There are indeed happy endings in life. We as Christians have our hope in a story that has a very happy one. Our King, upon coming to earth, is beaten and killed for being who he was only to rise again on our behalf and send us a helper until his return where he will completely take over the world. If that isn’t a happy ending, then I don’t know what is.
On the other hand
Most stories don’t end that way. Most stories end in the main character dying. I understand that we want to escape reality through the method of media, but there comes a point where we don’t need more that will cause us to be frustrated because “that isn’t how it’s done in the movies!”
As believers, we should accept this very willingly. Paul was near his death when he wrote the letter to the Church in Philippi and he knew it. This led him to pen the following:
For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. If I am to live in the flesh that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith, so that in me you may have ample cause to glory in Christ Jesus, because of my coming to you again. (Phil. 1.21-26)
Imagine the blood and tears that were poured out when Paul was writing this. He had endured the pain, suffering and punishment for being a believer, but was still willing to stay for the sake of the believers. And there was no happy ending in sight: Paul died a martyr’s death for following Jesus. That’s what we need to remember.
There are faithful believers in Christ suffering great things for Him who will never see a happy ending on earth. Others will die from terminal illnesses that will not be healed in their lifetimes but will hold on to Christ till the end. Those are the stories I want to hear. Those are the people I want to praise God for. Yes! Praise God for the healing and deliverance that he sends, but praise him as well for the faithful ones who suffer till the end.