"The end"-these are the words we have become accustomed to seeing on the last page of a book or the last scene of a movie. Everything it seems has an end, a song, a basketball game, a church service, a life. What does the phrase "the end" mean to you? And doesn't everything that has an end also have a beginning? Somewhere there is a starting point that finds it's way to the finish line. There are times we can not wait for the end-if the preacher is going too long, if the movie is scary, if the class is boring. Other times though we don't want something to end, like a good book, a happy day, or the life of a loved one. So when it comes to "the end", we can't seem to make up our minds.
The Lord Jesus Christ had no beginning and He has no end and yet when He willingly came to earth He experienced both on our behalf. Human life for our Savior began in a stable and ended on a cross. There where many times throughout His earthly life when others attempted to hasten His end, but were not successful. Although we are not told perhaps our Lord was ready for it all to end and yet He knew His time had not come. Instead of longing for the end, He waited obediently for His Heavenly Father to direct His steps.
Let's be honest, I'm quite sure that many of us have longed for the end. When we are sick or weary or afraid, the end can appear to be the best solution. Trying to manufacture the end is never the answer. Didn't David once say,"Oh that I had the wings like a dove! For then would I fly away and be at rest." He was looking for the end. A few verses down he admits that if he could, he would hasten or hurry his escape from the windy storm and tempest.
I do not believe it is abnormal, wrong or unspiritual to long for the end. We Christians know where the end is leading. Paul says it best, "To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord."
But while we are still here on planet Earth, we cannot dictate the end. Christ is our example and all the saints who have gone before us. Whatever the circumstance they found themselves in they trusted their Heavenly Father to light their path and they learned to leave the end up to Him. That way they could move through each day accepting His grace moment by moment. It kept their focus where all our focus needs to be, and that is on Him and off of searching for the end.
When the Lord Jesus went to the cross, He suffered unthinkable, unimaginable agony and yet the end came. He cried, It is finished" and then He willingly died. The pain and torture ended and what remained was our redemption. He was obedient unto death and Hebrews tells us that He endured the cross by looking not at the end but rather at the joy that would come from it all.
You and i can walk through each trial with hope and victory as our eyes are fixed on Him and not our desire for the end. Our peace amid the storms of life only comes when we stop resisting and fighting, searching for the end and release it into His able hands.
Just like Satan wanted everyone to think, that the cross was the end of Jesus, he wants us to believe that what we are being called upon to carry will be our end as well. But the truth is that the cross was not the end, it was the beginning. The end we search for is the end of the trial, the end of the hurt, the end of the heartache but Jesus is saying, if you are looking for an end, let it be an end to self. And when you and I come to the end of ourselves, that is our beginning as well.
When I find myself looking for the end I find comfort in these words, "Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world," and also, "I am the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end."
So whatever we may be facing, let us hide ourselves in Him-He is our end.