Saturday, October 17, 2009


God has no beginning or end. His existence stretches out through eternity, encompassing an infinite scope that we can't even imagine. Because we know that our bodies will one day die, humans have trouble imagining a world without endings. As a Christian, however, I believe that my death will not be finite. It will really be a transition to a different kind of living, not an ending. I've come to realize that endings are something that we impose on ourselves to make sense of things that seem too vast to comprehend. We need closure and resolution and the ability to compartmentalize events into finite episodes so that we can understand them. But God doesn't really heed these endings that we make up for ourselves. God's way of love is a journey that has no end.

Sometimes I think that God wants us to stop putting so much store in endings, because they aren't as real as we think they are. The Bible shows that God has endured many rough patches with His people, but He never gave up on having a special relationship with them. God doesn't believe in terminated relationships because He knows that love doesn't have to end when things go wrong. There is always a chance for healing. I know firsthand what it feels like to experience a terrible rift in a friendship. I thought that a couple of my friendships had ended, only to discover after a lengthy estrangement that we still loved each other after all. In a couple of cases, I have come back together with beloved friends after years spent apart, discovering that our bond could grow to be even stronger than it was before. No matter how terrible of a fight I have with my family or friends, and no matter how long our wounds fester, it is never really too late to reconcile. If we love each other enough, we can choose to heal those wounds and to move forward again. We are not subject to unchangeable endings. We must deal with something far more challenging than fate—our own human choices about whether to renew love or walk away.

I've also come to believe that I never really have to give up. Just as I can choose to pursue healing in a broken relationship, I can also choose to keep fighting for the values I believe in, even if they seem like lost causes. Even though I may lose some battles, my lifelong struggle to live my faith never has to end. Even if I give up for a while, I can decide to try again and recommit myself to the tasks I care about. My journey toward becoming a better Christian will never end. It might involve pauses and even some backtracking, but I can always choose to keep going forward after a setback. Eventually I will die, but even then my life and the things I fought for will not be over. My soul will go on to be with God, and God will appoint others to take on the work I left unfinished.

Love and faith never really end because they are gifts from an eternal God. Because I am made in God's image and have the gift of the Holy Spirit, I don't have to be subject to endings anymore either. Just as Jesus will give me the power to defy death, God gives me the perseverance I need to heal relationships and to fight battles that the human world tells me are over. The endings are all in my mind, and with God's help, I can defy them.

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