Straight from a Happy Heart
By Lisa Elliott
It’s been a very interesting experience over the past few months reading through all of my prayer journals. It’s like reading a book you’ve already read. You know the main characters. You know what’s coming in the next chapter—sometimes bracing yourself and other times reading with excited anticipation. All the while, knowing how the story ends.
As I’ve reread the life I’ve lived, pouring my heart out to the Lord on paper, I have seen the power of God’s Word alive and active in me (Heb. 4:12). I’ve borne witness to His divine power that has given me everything I’ve needed for life and godliness (1 Pet. 3:1-8). It’s been rewarding to release my past into God’s hands and, at the same time, build on it toward a hopeful future, forgetting what lies behind and pressing on toward the goal (Phil. 3:13-14). Ultimately, I have recognized the hand of His faithfulness woven throughout the pages of my life. These things I recall, therefore, I have hope. Great is His faithfulness! (Lam. 3:19-25). And, God assures us through the prophet Jeremiah, “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” (Jer. 29:11, NIV). That makes my heart happy!
As I’ve read, relived, and remembered, I’ve also been relieved as I recall how each situation or relationship or struggle I’ve faced has been resolved not only for my good but for God’s glory. Even if circumstances haven’t always worked out the way I would have written them. I’ve been reminded of instances where God has stepped in to answer specific prayers, worked out difficult situations, given me wisdom to deal with challenges, and taught me the importance of grace and forgiveness.
I’m in awe to think that by God’s grace, He’s still writing my story. And, if you’re reading this, He’s still writing yours! So, let me assure you, it’s a happy ending! I’ve read the end of the Book!
We have an advantage that those living their stories out in the Bible didn’t have. We have read how their stories unfolded. We’ve seen how David slayed the giant, how Moses parted the Red Sea, and how the apostle Paul lived to tell about many of his adventures. Just think of how it all turned out for each of them.
You see, Bible characters we know and love were in the middle of their story when it was written. They didn’t see things the way we do. They only hoped and believed it would all work out in the end. “All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, …” (Heb. 11:13, NIV). As we read the story of redemption from Genesis to Revelation, we know that when all is said and done, it is, indeed, a happy ending!
What a glorious day it will be when we experience the indescribable colours of heaven the way my son, Ben, described them in his last days on earth. Or feast at the banqueting table of the Lamb with the divine cream puffs I watched him enjoy in his “heavenly state.” I can hardly wait for the day when we gather around the throne of our Lord and King and sing along with the angels Ben’s favourite hymn, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty.” Ultimately, what joy will flood our souls at that great family reunion when we see our Saviour face to face.
There is a strength that comes with knowing everything will be okay. “For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; ‘he will lead them to springs of living water.’ ‘And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes’” (Rev. 7:17, NIV). “‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away” (Rev. 21:4, NIV).
Yes, it is a happy ending! Knowing that, allows us the freedom to release our future into the Author of our life’s script as He writes the next chapter of our life. Amen!
About this Contributor:
Lisa Elliott is an inspirational speaker and award-winning author of The Ben Ripple, Dancing in the Rain, and A Ministry Survival Guide. She’s also a writer for Just Between Us Magazine, The Story, and Good Ground. She and her pastor-husband, David, have four children (three on earth, one in heaven) and serve the Lord together in Ottawa, ON, Canada.