Christmas is a celebration of beginnings. We celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior and the hope he brings to the world. We celebrate the birth of a New Year with hope for more … you can fill in the blank. Yet rarely do we commemorate our endings. We sometimes are so anxious to close a chapter that we forget to remember the lessons we have learned, the wisdom we have gained, and the milestones which occurred along the way.
Living with the End in Mind is a lifestyle that values past, present, and future. In the future we will each have an ending. As Christians, we must not overlook the profound importance of finishing. Finishing well doesn’t just occur at the end-of-life. It begins and ends each day, each year, each season of life. We don’t know what tomorrow holds and no day is promised.
The Bible itself is a testament to the significance of closures, offering guidance and wisdom on how we should approach the conclusion of seasons, relationships, and life itself.
What can we learn from God’s Word about endings?
- God is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning, and the end. Our faith teaches us that God is not just present at the start of our journey but is also with us in its culmination. Endings are not a sign of abandonment; they are an opportunity to experience the fullness of God’s presence and guidance.
“’I am the Alpha and the Omega,’ says the Lord God,
‘who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty”
- The Bible is filled with stories of closure, each offering valuable lessons. Consider the story of Moses, who, after leading the Israelites through the wilderness, was not permitted to enter the promised Land. Though Moses’ journey concluded on Mount Nebo, he entrusted the future to Joshua. This illustrates the importance of passing the torch with instruction to those we leave behind.
Then the Lord said to him, “This is the land I promised on oath to
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob when I said, ‘I will give it to your descendants.’
I have let you see it with your eyes, but you will not cross over into it.”
Now Joshua son of Nun was filled with the spirit of wisdom because
Moses had laid his hands on him. So, the Israelites listened to him
and did what the Lord had commanded Moses.
- Endings mark not only the close of one chapter but the beginning of another. Endings, when embraced with faith become catalysts for transformation, allowing God to work in our lives in new and profound ways. The Apostle Paul faced numerous challenges. He faced spiritual warfare and physical suffering. Yet, with each experience, he found strength in his faith.
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
2 Timothy 4:7
- We learn to trust God and His plan the longer we walk with Him. While we may not always understand the reasons behind certain endings, our faith calls us to trust in His sovereign plan. We learn to trust his character rather than face turmoil because of his actions. Even when we face painful closures, God’s plan is far greater than our comprehension.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own
understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he
will make your paths straight.”
- One of the most powerful endings we face is the death of a loved or understanding our own unpredictable time stamp on life. In times of loss, grief, or transitions, it is easy to become consumed by early sorrow. However, as Christians, we are encouraged to fix our eyes on the eternal perspective.
“We do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things
which are not seen. For the things which are seen
are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”
2 Corinthians 4:18
In 2024, we are going to focus on what it means to live while Anticipating Heaven and in 2025 we will launch the book and discussion guide in partnership with Harper Collins Christian and Thomas Nelson. When we live understanding the beauty of Anticipating Heaven, we will learn to keep our eyes eternally fixed while are still rooted in the present.
In the present we encounter the bitter and the sweet. Without the bitter, we would never truly appreciate the sweet. In the present we are faced with beginnings and endings. Rather than lament that which we cannot change, let us learn to accept it with trust. Our loving God who sees all, knows all, is all, desires that we should seek him. When we do, He is intimately available to change our suffering or to walk through it with us.
Let’s end this year with a celebration that we made it! I don’t know about you but that makes me happy! As the Lord God watches over all that we do, may we end each day with the words, I finished well!