“Your heart must not be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if not, I would have told you. I am going away to prepare a place for you. If I go away and prepare a place for you, I will come back and receive you to Myself, so that where I am you may be also.” ~ John 14:1-3
The Lover and Beloved will be reunited. We know that one day we’ll be in a place with no more tears, no more death, and no more pain. The former things will have passed away, and all things will be made new (Rev. 21:4-5). We know He’s coming back for us.
We know this…yet we’ve grown weary of waiting. We’re weary of the diagnosis being terminal, and watching our loved ones fade away. We’re weary of reading of plane crashes and terrorist attacks in the news. We’re weary of seeing our local youth succumb to Hopelessness and Despair, taking their lives and the lives of others.
Yes, we’ve been waiting a long time for our happy ending…but have we really forgotten the lessons our own stories tell? Our stories often feature a gap of time between when the lover and beloved meet, and when they are finally reunited in their “happily ever after.” Within that “waiting gap” lies a wonderful lesson to be learned…
The Waiting Gap
We tend not to heed this “waiting gap” in our stories, for we anticipate the happy ending with certainty. In doing so, we forget an important truth: the characters don’t know what their ending will be. Our characters still have to wade through the heartache and the anguish. They must choose between Hope and Despair, Joy and Bitterness.
They must choose to be survivors of their circumstances.
We really should pay more attention to the waiting gap, for it’s from this well of Sorrow that our own stories come. We’re in the gap between tasting Love and having it fully. We’re vulnerable to Hopelessness and Despair, Joy and Bitterness. We must whether we will remain victims, or fight to be survivors.
What’s more, we have an advantage over our story-counterparts: we know the ending. We know the Lover will come for His Beloved.
Until then, we tell our stories, for they give us a voice when we have none, they remind us we’re not alone, and they assure us good can come from evil. And, if we have the eyes to look, we can see God weaving every story back to Himself.
Don’t you think Rapunzel told herself stories as she walked in the wilderness? Don’t you think Cinderella sang love songs when she was back in her rags after the ball?*
Of course they did. And so do we.
*I happened to write this post well before I saw Disney’s new Cinderella movie; I debated about changing my blog, but that’s just how God works, isn’t it? He sends little confirmations like this to let us know we’re on the right track!