An end is a beginning.

January 12, 2017

 

 

Recently, I have heard Joel Osteen say "Where God has put a period, don't put a question mark."

The meaning of this is that when something is over, step away, move on; God has closed the door for a reason. Trust the Lord and move on.


It reminds of another saying, 'When God closes a door, don't stand there banging on it." Same message: when something doesn't go as expected, consider that perhaps God is actually doing something beyond our understanding. Perhaps we must trust or "let go".  

 

When something ends, it is not easy to know if we are to accept it.. or pray for a miracle that changes the situation. In fact, there is another opposing saying that is "Where God has put a comma, don't put a period." Very confusing!

When I have grieved the lost loved ones, I know I have stood at the door banging. I know have struggled to accept. Am I simply supposed to just tell myself that an ending like a death is "a blessing", as people who comfort us like to suggest? 

 

All these sayings point to the truth that to grow in faith is to indeed wrestle, question, and get angry.But to walk in faith is to strive to uphold a belief and trust that  (1) God's ways are not our ways, (2) the love of God does not stop, and (3) there is a provision and plan in beyond our comprehension that we truly want to be a part of.

 

People of faith don't have to flippantly accept that whatever ended is a blessing. But we also don't have to spend the remaining days of our life questioning or banging away because there is more life to live, more love to be shared..

 

Before he suffered and died, Jesus said,  "Do not let your heart be troubled: believe in God, believe also in me." John 14:1. This was spoken to the disciples in advance of an event that he knew would seem catastrophic - the trial and crucifixion of their beloved leader. He wanted them to hold on to a promise that what would seem like an ending, his death, would be the 'end of chapter' but not the end of the story.

 

To have faith is to believe where we cannot yet see. Sometimes that means trusting that death doesn't get the final say. It didn't on  the cross and it does not in our lives. 

 

But endings are real. We must be present in the moment with them. Just as spoke the last words from the cross, "It is finished", we too must find the faith to let God put a period at the end of chapters of our life.  An ending is a promise to a new beginning.

 

Yes it hard it is to let go. It is even harder step away, and move forward into the unknown. How tempting it is to remain, linger, question or bang on the door.

 

If there is something in your life that you question, realize that you are not alone. What you are experiencing is what the earliest Christians described as "the mystery of faith." We still people proclaim this in the full liturgy of the sacrament of Holy Communion "Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again." Three truths. Three periods. 

 

To proclaim the mystery of faith in your life, begin by lifting it up before God each day in your prayer time. Some have determined to lift it up for a set period of time, like 40 days. In doing so, give space and voice to the sorrow. Let your heart ache before God. This is different from being troubled in your heart, this is a posture of pouring your heart out, letting it break. You may even want symbolically take bread as you pray, lift it up and break it, considering all that is broken and ended. Then you close your time in prayer, consuming the bread, or a cup of sorrow if you like. This can be your way of asking that theholy mystery of grace be imparted to your spirit.

 

Remember; the power of the one who raised Christ from the dead raising you also to new life, new relationship and new purpose.

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