Happily Ever After

     I just spent a week at Disney World.  My daughter met all the princesses that the House of Mouse have ever produced.  We saw castles and rode rides and swam a summer’s worth of swimming in only one week.  It was wonderful.  I would dare say, it was magical. 

    Now, I know that life is not a Disney film.  The credits don’t roll after a splendidly lettered “Happily Ever After” appears before us.  No.  For after the highs come lows.  After the kiss comes making a life together.  After opening the business comes the reality of managing it.  Life just keeps on going forward.  Seemingly unstoppable, it just keeps rolling over generation after generation with no end in sight. 

    But, as a follower of the Christ, there is hope.  “We know all things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose.”  This is the Happily Ever After that stands always before my eyes.  It’s out there past every struggle, past every obstacle, past every broken friendship.  Past my sin, past my success, past my strength and my weakness there is this promise.  And the promise is not for a princess or a prince.  The promise is not for a house or a car.  The promise is not even that this season will end, or that the thing we love will ever come back.  Oh no.  The quote continues, “For those whom he foreknew, He predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son…”  This would take very much to unpack, but essentially it is saying that God is doing something within us.  That our life is not about what is out there but about what is in here.  That the life of the soul is greater than the life of my circumstances.  That poverty nor wealth, sickness nor health define my personhood.  God is making us into something new.  God is conforming us into the image of His Son, Jesus.  That He is both the author and finisher of our story.  That He who began the good work in us will carry it on to completion.  I have hope that Jesus isn’t done with my heart.  That the very essence of who I am can be made new.  Jesus is not done with me.

    And the fact that He is molding me into something new brings with it certain consequences.  It creates a logical string of events.  That “those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called, he also justified, and those whom He justified, He also glorified.”  It’s these wonderful dominos falling down that bring the assurance that what we have hoped for will come to pass.  If you follow all the dominos down, beginning of course with the promise found in Jesus, you come to the reality of being glorified.  That the process of being made new day by day will one day be finally and fully completed.  That Jesus will remove death and sin, and that we will be as He is, glorified.  This is of course realized in the end.  This is after either our world ends or the whole world does.  

    So, I have hope.  Even as we leave our hometown.  Even with our next step so unknown.  Even with nasty coughs and crying children.  Even with all that comes next… there is hope.  God’s not done.  Within or without.  So let us keep walking.  Let us keep trusting.  Let us keep on turning to Him who can make all things new.

-Ernesto Alaniz

Waterford, MI.  2015