“I have a special project for you.”
Mrs. Smith’s eyes twinkled as she shared our assignment with my 8th-grade English class. “You have just finished reading ‘The Pearl’ by John Steinbeck. I want you to give it an alternative ending, come up with your own. Try to write it in the style of Steinbeck.”
I was intrigued. Here was an opportunity to rewrite a great work of literature. Steinbeck had woven a masterful tale, how could I craft a more perfect ending? As I pondered the assignment, I was stymied, constrained by my remembrance of the ending of the original story. I had to free myself from preconceived notions of what I thought might be a perfect ending and stretch the boundaries of literary expression. At the conclusion of the assignment, although I was able to craft a different ending, I was disappointed and felt I had not improved upon the original ending.
If only this fictional assignment were possible! I sometimes grasp for an alternative ending for events in my life. I long to take back the hurtful comment I made to another when my pride was squashed. I pine to restore the relationship that was broken by my sins. I want an alternative ending, yet knowing that I am constrained and restrained by this existence, I end up wallowing in self-pity and despair. Unlike my English assignment, I cannot devise an alternative ending, to go back in time to undo or redo my actions. What hope is there in this life?
Even perfection has its limits, but your commands have no limit.
Psalms 119:96 (NLT)
Jesus Christ challenges all believers to trust in Him and be desirous to seek an outcome that is unfettered by man’s limited musings and deliberations. If I rely upon my futile and feeble efforts to restore broken situations, it will only result in despair and failure. Only God can perfectly restore the brokenness that sin has wrought. My frustration results from my lack of faith and trust in God’s ability to perform what He has promised. Can there ever be a perfect alternative ending?
…With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.
Mark 10:27 (ESV)
Thanks be to God that through faith and belief in Jesus Christ, there will be a perfect ending for our lives. Jesus invites us to give Him our frustrations, pain, and hurt of this life and allow Him to share the burden with us. He promises us salvation and eternal life to all those who confess and repent of their sins and accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
Isn’t this the perfect alternative ending for our life?
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.