Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: HOPE (joyful, confident expectation in salvation) (03/05/15)
- TITLE: My Battle with Cinderella
By Kristi Sands
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My stomach turns. My heart aches. I want what she has, and yet I don’t. I want life to be simple and perfect, but I also war against “simple and perfect.” There is something in the struggle that reminds me that I am real, that I am not in my happily-ever-after yet. Trials and pain – welcome or not – teach me “home” is yet to come.
In my opinion, the movie ends right when it gets good, right when my interest is piqued. I want to know what Cinderella’s life is like after the carriage ride. I want to see her day-to-day marriage, future interactions with her stepmother and sisters, and the constant struggles that accompany the epic battle for her heart. Things cannot be smooth sailing.
They’re not supposed to be. Not even the Prince of our souls offers that, our Savior Jesus Christ. He ushers us away from the burden of slavery, condemnation, and the hopelessness of death. But he does not promise perfection or ease. Not yet anyway.
Look at John 16:33. “In this world, you will have trouble.” The promise Jesus gives here is not one of possibility. “You might have pain. You could have problems. There is a chance you will struggle.” No, it’s a given. You will. You will experience heartache, hurt, and homesickness. “You will have trouble.”
But the promise also specifies when and where (and why) this takes place. Three simple words give us the answer. “In this world.” It is where we are that causes the problem. Earth.The fallen world. The world filled with finite, self-seeking humans. Sin keeps us from bliss. We are not home yet. Here, we receive a mirror view of Jesus and His intentions. We taste briefly, we catch glimpses. But we fall short of His glory. 1 Corinthians 13:12 tells us that what we know of Jesus and His bliss is currently incomplete. “Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.” It is currently blurry at best.
However, His glory is coming. He won’t let us forget. John 16 reminds us to hold on through the fog, to trust in the beauty ahead. It gives us a hope like no other. “But take heart, I have overcome the world.” God will one day do what I fight against when watching Cinderella. He will draw a line in our lives. He will prove his power once and for all. 1 Corinthians 13:10 says, “When perfection comes, the imperfect disappears.” Before the line, pain. After the line, bliss. He will overcome.
This carriage ride is not the end, this roller-coaster, not our final adventure. Something better is in the works. Something unimaginable. This is what the Prince promises.
As it turns out, the author of Cinderella was not trying to fool me. He simply wanted the story to end well. I get it. He could not drag the plot out forever. Maybe he did not know how to perfectly resolve the relationships that caused pain. I get that too. Stories in print have to draw the line somewhere. So I am losing my resentment toward the “line” in Cinderella’s life, and now find myself longing for the one awaiting me, the one where the imperfect disappears and perfect takes over, when Jesus stakes His final claim. He – my Prince – has plans for me. And that gives me what most great stories do: hope.
Scriptures quoted are from the NIV translation.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
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