I watched Pinocchio with a three year old tonight, and I had a profound revelation. (Only me, right? ha ha) It was at the part where Pinocchio and his father are trying to escape from the whale. Pretty scary stuff when you're three. She came and jumped into my lap, saying, "It's scary! It's scary! I'm done with this movie." I leaned down and said in my most reassuring tone, "Hey, don't worry. It's going to be okay." She looked up into my eyes, fear evident in her sweet face, and said, "But how do you know?" The answer that came out of my mouth stunned me. "Because I know the end of the story. I know it seems scary right now, and in a minute, it's going to seem very sad. But I promise, it's all going to be okay."
As the words passed from me to her, I knew that they were truly passing from God to me. So many times in our lives, everything at hand says this is scary. All we can see is the terror of this moment, and we can become consumed by fear as we face insurmountable "whales" in our own lives. Sometimes we even want to just turn this movie off and be done. But God knows the end of the story! And he has promised that it's all going to be okay. (See Romans 8:28 if you don't believe me.)
Pinocchio and his father escape the whale, but Pinocchio drowns. His father kneels at the end of the bed, crying, believing that nothing will bring back his precious son. This is the worst thing that could have happened. But then... his son is restored! And better than that, he has been transformed from a simple wooden puppet into "real boy." God can answer our prayers in ways that are so much better than we can ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20). It may not be the answer we hoped for, but in the hands of God, redemption, restoration, and true healing are possible. So please, my friend, don't get lost in the fear or sadness of the moment. (And don't let me get lost in it either!) For something so much better is coming. There is hope. God will prevail, and he has a plan for you. He can restore your heart and bring healing to your story. Just trust him. After all, he knows the end of the story. :-)