Sometimes, when we get stuck in the middle of hardships or challenges, we want to give up. But, if we do, we often miss a great ending. I see this on full display with my daughter almost every time we watch a movie she hasn’t seen.
My 8-year-old is not quite a fan of any film. As we have tried to ease in different movies over time, I started noticing a pattern. It’s not the motion picture that she doesn’t like per se. Rather, she doesn’t like when the plot thickens, it appears that the main characters are losing, or a challenging circumstance is presented that seems insurmountable. On several occasions, my husband and I have tried to encourage her to just keep watching, particularly when we knew the ending.
One blockbuster I can recall seeing with my sweet girl was the phenomenal Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey. We were super excited to view this holiday film as a family. We had heard rave reviews about it, so we decided to see what the buzz was all about.
Without spoiling the anything, let’s just say that some lows were depicted after starting on a high note. At that point, my child wanted to stop the flick. She began to check out and asked to turn it off. While I had not seen this one before, I knew there would be more to the story.
We sat together as a family and finished Jingle Jangle. By the end, my child was encouraged and excited, and was singing songs from the film, expressing how much she really enjoyed it. I commended her for staying the course. We discussed what it meant to see the entire show and conversed about why Mommy and Daddy wanted her to hang in there until the end. She was glad that she did.
Just like my daughter, we, as God’s children, experience times in our sagas where we want to stop the tape. We want to check out and tune out, because the scenes are too dramatic, too heavy, too scary, or too uncertain to handle. But guess what? We must keep going. God has more in store, and He’s writing our script with the underlying theme of working ALL things together for our good, as Romans 8:28 reminds us.
While all things might not be good or feel good, the Master Writer’s pen is scripting a beautiful story within our lives. God’s all-wise pen is meticulously crafting each scene, act, and situation with our good in mind. We can let the movie of our journeys keep playing and trust in His word that He is for us, and when He is for us, as Romans 8:31 reflects, who can be against us? He promised to give us beauty for ashes and turn our sorrow into joy. We can press toward those promises and remember the only way to the other side is THROUGH. Not over. Not under. Not around, but through.
Imagine if the disciples, Mary, and Mary Magdalene had stopped watching in the middle of the crucifixion drama. What conclusion would they have drawn? They would have thought all hope was lost, believing their Savior was dead, and perhaps all He had preached about, taught them, and demonstrated was in vain, or even worse, a lie. They might have thought the enemy had won, and they were the defeated ones.
They may have been stuck with feelings of confusion and fear, but they kept their eyes on the movie. The story wasn’t over yet. The film continued to roll. The death of Jesus wasn’t the finale. He rose and still lives within each of us who believe today!
That break-up or divorce isn’t the end of your story. The Master Writer is in the business of restoring souls and mending broken hearts. That job loss isn’t the end of the story either. The one with the pen in His hand is a provider. The medical diagnosis is a clip in your narrative, but not the final one. Remember the author, producer, and director is a healer. The death of your beloved relative is not the end of the movie. While circumstances may feel that way right now, it’s not the conclusion. Our Father God has more in store for your next scenes and wants to comfort you in your time of mourning.
All the challenges that have transpired this year will not be where your story ends. So, I urge you to stay tuned for what’s next. Don’t turn the TV off, don’t check out, and don’t go into hiding. Your story isn’t over yet! More awe-inspiring, beautiful, glorious, and victorious scenes are on the way!
Think of a time you wanted to stop watching in the middle of your personal movie, but you kept the film rolling. How did you keep moving forward despite the struggle? What are some victories you can recall because of staying the course and allowing the next scene to unfold?
Get to know Quinnise!
Quinnise Pettway is an author, blogger, facilitator, Licensed Professional Counselor, wife, and mother whose mission is to help Christians shift their perspective of God, to strengthen their relationship with Him, and clarify their identity in Christ so they can be all He has created them to be. She endeavors to live a life of and on purpose and bring glory to God in every area, assignment, and ministry, to which she has been called. Quinnise recently wrote a book titled “A Glimpse of Our Father: Lessons Parenthood Reveals for All of God’s Children” and hosts a weekly small group called “Gathering For A Glimpse” where she journeys with participants through the book to dive deeper into the heart of our heavenly Father.