Have you ever been sucked into a good book or been enthralled by a great movie only for it to be ruined at the end? The characters, the writing, the plot, everything was woven together perfectly, you’re on the edge of your seat, excited to see what happens next, then it ends and you find there’s much left to be desired. You leave the story feeling cheated out of the ending you felt the story deserved. Has this ever happened to you? Writing endings to stories is difficult, but ending things well in real life is surely just as challenging.
We all experience endings: the death of a friend or loved one, the loss of a job, a relocation, or the shattering of a dream, to name just a few. But why do we always see endings as something bad?
How would our world change if we began to foresee and better prepare for endings?
There are plenty of endings that have taken place that were necessary for new things to begin. In the Bible, an entire faithless generation had to end for the nation of Israel to enter into the promised land. Esther’s cultural concept of herself had to end for her to step into who she was called to be. The reigns of many kings needed to end for a new ruler’s era to begin.
As we mature and grow, we cycle through various endings. Friendships and family dynamics change and roles are redefined as we grow older, each one ending, taking on a new look. Jobs come and go over the course of our lives, sometimes voluntarily sometimes involuntarily, but each ending is a chance for growth and a new start.
Looking back over my life, I’m thankful for the endings that have happened. I’m thankful for the lost jobs, the changed relationships, and the ending of seasons that led to new opportunities. What new opportunities have come to you because something in your life ended? What opportunities may come when your current season ends? Endings are necessary for new opportunities to emerge.
This is always easier to say than to do. Each ending deserves a proper farewell, because each season changes, shapes, and helps to define us. For some seasons, grieving takes a short period of time, for others it takes much longer, and that’s okay. It’s hard to see endings as positive right away, but over time, they can grow to take on a much brighter perspective.
Lord, you are sovereign over the seasons and times as they change. Forgive us for seeing endings in the negative, instead of appreciating them as opportunities for something new. Thank you that you are with us during the seasons of transition. Help us, as seasons and relationships continue to change and end, to grieve well and worship you through the process. Amen!