…weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. Psalm 30:5 (KJV)
She was tall, blonde, beautiful, and with all the proportions of a runway model—our new staff member. She was charming, naïve, and newly married. Carrie reminded us of the thrill of new beginnings and the dreams of great accomplishments. She was visionary, and she caught us up in thinking that fairy tales just might come true.
The school year rocked along through the fall, and then we enjoyed the camaraderie of the Christmas holidays with numerous festivities. Valentines brought a plethora of love notes and an abundance of sweets. And then the honeymoon was over. As Carrie moved into life as we know it, she came to my room and said with wide eyes, “I really believed the Cinderella story. I thought all I had to do was make some promises, and I would live happily ever after…”
And that’s what many of us do in our lives as believers. We get the heartbreak/rescue/ ever after business, but somehow we miss the classes that prepare us for the intensity of life following the rescue segment. We look at rescue (salvation) to mean “immunization” –from worry, struggle, cares, hardship, pain, suffering, unpleasantness, heartbreak, and so on. In actuality, rescue means access.
As God’s children, we can now access his grace in difficulty, his peace in suffering, his joy in heartbreak, his strength for struggles, his comfort in pain, and every single thing we need for life and godliness (II Peter 1:3). We no longer have to merely “make it through” hard times; we discover the ability to be more than conquerors—being strengthened by virtue of the struggle (Ro. 8:37).
Dear little Cinderella needs her prince to rescue, provide, and care for her. We have a constant, unfailing (Josh. 23:14) Father who sets a course for us that goes through stresses and storms while all the while ensuring that his Son is with us navigating the winds and waves (Matt. 8:23-27) and bringing us through to safety. Our trust is strengthened, our confidence renewed, and we are better prepared for the next challenge of the voyage.
We have not been rescued to be put on a shelf and admired. We have been and are over and over rescued as a testament of God’s grace, his power in our weakness, and his faithfulness to his promises. Hebrews 12:12, 13 (NLT) invokes us to “take a new grip with [our] tired hands and strengthen [our] weak knees. Mark out a straight path for [our] feet so that those who are weak and lame will not fall but become strong.”
We have more than a Prince (or Princess) Charming. We have access to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. AND we can live happily ever after.
Father, how blessed we are to be walking with you every day of our lives. We don’t have to wait for eternity for our joy. We have YOU. Amen.