“I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please” (Isaiah 46:10). Just one promise, among thousands, that God Himself speaks to us through Scripture. But this promise is curious, as He swaps the natural order of “beginning to end” and, instead, says “the end from the beginning.” This verse was used to reference the immutability of God in a book study that our family is engrossed in and, while His character is undoubtedly unchanging, it spurred thoughts as to how He has provided us with both how all began and how all will end. However, it’s what takes place in the middle that has me stuck.
Generally, when we’re told a story from the beginning until it ends, all that happens in between is shared as well. That’s what makes it a story. God has decided to share the end all the way from the beginning of His purposed will, but has left us longing to know what occurs throughout. History records itself for us to recollect the past, the Bible records what God deemed necessary for our knowledge, but then the past tense disappears and we enter the future tense in the book of Revelation. How nice to provide us with how creation came about and how creation will cease as we now know it, but He has left out the meaty details of the middle. Truly, we have everything we need within His Word to guide us as we navigate the present tense; however, wouldn’t it be sweet to know more of how our individual story goes? Not so much.
As painful and stress inducing as it can be to live within the boundaries of each moment we encounter, I firmly believe He left these details out for a reason we may not prefer, but need to get a grip on. The good, the bad, and the ugly that awaits us around each corner of the current life will happen regardless of how we feel it should or shouldn’t. Some will suffer relentlessly, some will not. Some will endure tragedies, some will not. Instead of wishing for a sneak peek into our immediate futures, as though this foreknowledge could provoke us to make different decisions as to how we order each day, perhaps we could strive to experience today without regret. Just in case, when the good, bad, and ugly circumstances happen that are written in by He who ordains them all, at least we can tackle them with an iota of integrity. Biblical integrity, that is.
“What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9). Tragic events will come: prolonged sicknesses and inevitable deaths of loved ones, betrayals by those closest to us, promises broken, securities lost, or whatever worst case scenario our minds can conjure up on any given day as we lend our focus to falsely foreseeing the future of our self story. All of these occurrences aren’t new under the sun, although they feel fresh to each one of us because we aren’t given insight as to whether, or when, they’re on the horizon. But just as desperately as we approach God when the bad and ugly become part of our day, our approaches ought to be equally as awe inspired when the good reveals itself. He is the author of our stories of the middle, that we may feel stuck in and helpless to co-write, but by asking for and always receiving our daily bread, we can wriggle our way out of a potentially despairing mindset. That mindset is fixated on the ultimate unbelief that God’s promises will go unfulfilled.
It’s no wonder our current culture, Christians included, is obsessed with dependence on counseling sessions and prescription drugs to treat anxiety and/or depression. We’re not crazy; we’re just hyper aware of our complete lack of control. We’re stuck in the middle and feel like there’s no way out. Well, there is. Go back to His Word, read and reread the story He’s made known for us, even though it’s only the end and the beginning, lacking the in between we so desire to know and realize the guidance God has given us through Scripture and the Spirit is enough. Everything else falls under what I like to call “nunya” (none of your business).