Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.” Psl. 23:6
In our personal DVD collection, my husband and I have several mini-series, like Lonesome Dove, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (the older, English version) and Winds of War. One thing all such series have in common is the words at the end of each installment, “To be continued…” This is to let you know the story isn’t over; there’s more to come.
I thought of this a couple of days ago, and immediately the last verse of Psalm twenty-three came to mind. The time frame of that verse goes from now through eternity. When we come to abrupt halts in our Christian lives that appear to be the end of the story, we can insert the words, “to be continued,” with complete confidence.
I began reading Job again today, and when I put myself in his place, I have no doubt that even as he was saying “The LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD”(1:21), he must have been thinking, “It’s all over now.” Yet, although he may not have known it, you and I know it was only the beginning of a new chapter in his life, and the horrors he was experiencing would cause him see God and himself more clearly and truly than he ever could have otherwise. The constant that remained in Job’s case and in ours is this: “goodness and mercy” are always tracking us. They follow us all the days of our lives, even the ones that look like the last ones. They continue and so do we.
But there is one way our story differs from those mini-series of which I spoke. You finally come to a point in their stories when it says, “THE END.” They don’t go on forever. But you and I will, and we’ll “dwell in the house of the Lord.” Goodness and mercy will follow us all the days of our lives, maneuvering us past all the barricades that rise before us, sending us on our way again, till they deliver us safe and sound into the very presence of God. This is the best story of all!
Does it feel like you’ve come to an impasse, a dead-end, a blank wall, a washed-out bridge, a steep cliff, a point of no return, or the end of the road? Take heart; your story’s already been written. These times in your life are places in the script where God has inserted “To be continued.” Andby the way, the rest of the story is best part of all. Ask Job.
“So the LORD blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning…”(Job 42:12)