Have you ever wondered if something that that was very good most of the time was invalidated because it ended badly? I have two friends who are going through a very rough time right now as a major part of their lives changes. One is facing a time in her marriage of thirty-three years where she’s not sure there will be thirty-four. They have grown children and have made a good life together, but times are hard right now. My other friend has had to give up her home of thirty-three years, her very successful ministry in another place, many friends, and the security that being in one place gives. Both have lost almost more than you think a person can bear. But here, at the end of the day, they both ask was it all for naught? Was any of it good because it has ended so hard?
As I was praying for them, I had a word that comforted, if not for them, it certainly was for me. I asked the Lord why it has to be so hard? How could they have to give so much right now to just keep their heads above water? Why would they feel everything in all those years was in vain? And Jesus spoke to my heart. “I lived thirty-three years on earth, and lots of it was very good. There were some awful things that happened, and by some’s standards, it ended badly. Do you think I thought it wasn’t worth it? Just because it looked like it ended badly, it was not in vain.”
The worst day of Christ’s life on earth was the best day for each of us who are in Him. It was the day our salvation was secured in Him. God can turn those things around. The paradox for the Christian is the things that hurt so badly God uses for good. The things that we believe will kill us end up being the very things that can open to us true Life. And, thirty-three years were not in vain.