(Un)Preferred Endings

"... and they lived happily ever after."

We love preferred endings. We love happily ever afters - the fairy tale endings of life.

Preferred endings...

... and they repented of their adultery and reconciled with their spouses.
... and God heard their prayers and he was healed.
... and she never struggled with her addiction again.
... and he never fell prey to his sexual temptation again.
... and the cancer never returned.

We struggle with endings we do not prefer.

... and they divorced their spouses and married each other.
... and the child died.
... and she ended up back in rehab.
... and he had sex with him again.
... and the cancer returned.

Redemption is the central theme of the Jesus story.  Jesus came on a rescue mission to save those who can't save themselves. He does the impossible - He redeems the non-redeemable. But what happens when that redemption follows a path we don't prefer? 

What happens when he refuses to repent? When she sins again? When death steals away someone we love? When there is no reasonable explanation? When things don't work out like we prefer?

It seems there is a tendency among Jesus followers to withdraw when the ending seems to be headed in a direction we do not prefer. We celebrate preferred endings.  We tend to hide, ignore, doubt, question, and criticize the others.

Question: can I trust God with the endings I don't prefer?  Do I trust God is capable of genuine redemption even when the endings looks different and takes longer than I prefer? Better yet, will I remain a part of the redemption process even when the road gets rough?

Remember a chapter is not the whole book - a detour is not the entire journey - a season does not dictate the totality of one's life. 

Grace provides preferred endings. But Grace also prevails even in moments when the ending looks different than what we prefer.

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