We’ve finished. For months, my family has gone to rehearsals and my kids practiced their lines and their dance steps and songs for a community theater production of The Story of Hansel and Gretel.
And now, they’ve taken that final bow. The costumes are handed in. The set is down. The show is done.
But I’m still thinking about those lessons from the theater:
Lesson One: God Will Complete Your Story
For the characters in a story like Hansel and Gretel, the happy ending is assured from the beginning. When the cast stretches across that stage and sings that final song, the children are safe and sound and the witch has baked to a crisp in her own magic oven. No one is poor any longer. No one goes hungry again.
They do, after all, live happily ever after.
What about the resolution for our own story, though? It may seem elusive, hazy, doubtful, never-coming… Will our life-Author ever wrap it all up with a nice tidy bow and send us home with a smile?
I have felt this before. The feeling of waiting. Just waiting. Waiting for an answer, a provision, a direction, a progression. Waiting for God to shout, “Voila” and finally reveal what’s behind the curtain.
Because here and now, I can’t always see the plan or the hope or the future.
Maybe you’ve felt this impatience. Maybe you’ve felt uncertain that God is ever going to fulfill your desires, provide answers, or allow you to move on.
In fact, it’s easy to begin feeling like God started writing your story and then abandoned you for other projects. No ‘happily ever after’ for you.
Yet, God’s Word promises us that God, “who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6, NIV).
While ultimately our final curtain call doesn’t come until we’re standing before Christ in heaven, He’s carrying us “on to completion” this day and the next and the next one again.
Even when we feel like we’re standing still or faltering back two steps, He is always moving us toward Christ. Always.
God doesn’t abandon any of us along the journey. He doesn’t grow bored with our progress and forget to complete our story.
Instead, He declares:
“I know the plans I have for you . . . plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11).
That’s why when God met Hagar desperately running into the wilderness to escape her abusive mistress, He didn’t just ask her where she came from. Instead, He asked:
“where have you come from, and where are you going?” (Genesis 16:8).
This question showed God’s heart for her. Abandoning her out in the wilderness was never His intention. So, He directed her steps, told her to return home, and promised her blessing in the birth of her son, Ishmael.
He promised her a hope and a future.
When God called out to Moses from the burning bush, He said,
“So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey” (Exodus 3:8).
God didn’t just intend to rescue them and then leave them wandering in the wilderness.
Oh no, from the beginning of the Exodus story, God promised that they were headed out of Egypt so they could travel to the Promised Land.
And even when they messed it all up and He told them they’d wander for 40 years before stepping foot on that promised soil, still He said: “When you finally settle in the land I am giving you…..” (Numbers 15:2 NLT).
Not, “If” you settle into that land or “Maybe.”
No, God had a plan for Israel.
And even Abraham, who didn’t know the GPS coordinates of his final destination still knew this: “The LORD had said to Abram, ‘Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you’” (Genesis 12:1).
In her study, The Patriarchs, Beth Moore notes:
“When He tells us to leave one place as He told Abram, He has another place for us to go. God may not reveal the destination for a while, but we can rest assured we’re never called out without being called to” (p. 15).
If He’s called you out, then He’s called you to a place of promise.
And He’ll be faithful to complete your story. Even on days when you feel stuck or fallen or like you’re wandering without purpose, He’s there to promise you this hope and this future.
Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer and worship leader. Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness. Her book, Ask Me Anything, Lord: Opening Our Hearts to God’s Questions, is available now! To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.
Copyright © 2014 Heather King