Natalie is on a Cinderella kick right now.
We do a lot of fairy godmother magic together… turning invisible pumpkins into equally invisible carriages and making imaginary glass slippers appear on our feet. She sweeps her wand of pink and blue ribbons through the air and creates a palace in our family room so we can dance at the ball together.
It’s sweet and special and so much fun for me, the girl who always loved imaginary play more than anything else.
Yesterday I showed her some scenes from Disney’s live action version of Cinderella. I’ve watched it myself several times before and always enjoyed it, but as I saw it again something stuck with me in a way that wouldn’t let go.
The theme of courage stood out to me. The courage to persevere through trials and the courage to wait. A biblical truth wrapped in a fairy tale story.
It made me think of Joseph… sold into slavery by his own brothers, falsely accused and thrown into prison, forgotten and wronged. And yet, after all of that, he was raised up to be second only to Pharoah in the land of Egypt.
But what if we didn’t know the ending?
What would we think, in the midst of Joseph’s troubles, if we didn’t know that he would later tell his brothers,“Now do not be grieved or angry with yourselves, because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life.”(Genesis 45:5)?
How would we feel, as Cinderella is cruelly mistreated, if we didn’t know her story would end in “happily ever after”?
We all have Cinderella and Joseph moments don’t we?
No, I’m not saying we all have evil stepmothers who treat us like servants, or brothers who sell us to slave traders… but we all have trials in our life. Sufferings that we can’t make sense of. Unanswered questions. Struggles that seem unfair.
And we don’t know the ending.
That’s the hardest part. That’s what takes courage. Courage to persevere and courage to wait, not for a fairy godmother’s magic, but for a very real God who has a very real plan for our lives.
Wait for the Lord; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord. Psalm 27:14
Waiting isn’t easy for me. I like plans and clear directions and paths to follow. But the ending isn’t for me to know and I find comfort in the truth that God will never leave me (Deut 31:6), that He has overcome the world (John 16:33), and that the trials themselves serve to grow me in perseverance, character, and hope (Romans 5:3-5).
So may we have the courage to wait, even when the ending of our story is unknown.