I am not a big movie person. However, when our family is on holidays, I often get talked into going to a show, and that is how I found myself at Saving Mr. Banks.
For those who don’t know, Saving Mr. Banks is the story about how Walt Disney convinced author P.L. Travers to let Disney make Mary Poppins.
I enjoyed the movie, but it was what happened at the end that really surprised me: everyone left the theatre with tears in their eyes. Even the guy who sat behind me, making fun of everything and acting tough through the first half hour or so, was crying at the end.
The lesson: everyone likes a happy ending. More to the point: everyone wants a happy ending.
The problem is things do not always look like they are heading that way. From personal experience, I can tell you that there have been times when I thought the bad things in my life could not be overcome. Fortunately, there is more going on than what we see.
Psalm 1 says it this way: “Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers… For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous” (verses 1-3 and 6a).
Notice that “the Lord watches” is in the present tense. It is not past (“the Lord used to watch”) or the future (“the Lord will watch”), rather, he is doing it now. You are not alone. You have not been forgotten. You have more strength, more hope, more options than you may realize.
Notice, too, it is “the righteous” that he watches over. In other words, hope begins when we really follow God. Jesus said it this way: “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12). If we follow, he will lead. The darkness and confusion will be displaced and we will see and have life.
Now, I am not saying that we will not have any more “hard times” (that would be naïve), but your story is not finished yet. It is still being written and, if it is written with the power of God, he can use even our bad experiences for good. A happy ending still exists for you both now and forever.
Jesus still says, “Come to me” (Mark 1:17).