By Tammy Tkach
I’ve loved fairy tales since I was a little girl. I read the stories over and over again, enjoying the drama, mystery and especially the happy endings. When my daughter became old enough, we not only read the stories I loved as a child, we watched the movies too. Much to our delight, a new television series, Once Upon a Time, began last year. We never miss an episode.
I don’t enjoy books or movies with sad endings. There are too many sad stories in real life. Perhaps it’s a form of escape, but happy stories make us feel good and remind us we can have hope in our lives.
The Bible is full of stories, some ending happily, some not. My favorite happy one is that of Joseph. His life began well enough, but the twists, turns, ups and downs keep you on the edge of your chair until the very end. Another Cinderella tale is Esther’s rise to royalty, with a couple of cliffhangers adding to the drama. And of course, there’s Job, who went through a lot of misery before his happy ending.
Many didn’t get their happy ending as we read in Hebrews 11, and won’t until we finish the race (verse 40). Wait – until we finish the race? Yes, God’s love is inclusive, which means he doesn’t want those who went before to receive the reward without us and vice versa. He loves everyone and his plan includes everyone. No one will be left out.
What this means is everyone who’s ever been born can have a happy ending. God has written the ultimate fairy tale, only it’s not a fairy tale as we know them, this one is true. It’s possible some may get lost on the way to the castle, but it’s also possible God won’t let them wander in the forest forever. His intention (1 Timothy 2:3-4) is for all people to be saved and to understand the truth about the Savior.
Most won’t experience a happy ending in this life and many will feel as if their lives have been hell on earth. But the good news is it will come. The ancients as they’re called in Hebrews 11, knew this and had faith that “is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see” (verse 1, NIV).
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart (Hebrews 12:1-3, NIV).
That sums it up pretty well. Happy ending, here we come!