Happily Ever After?
"He reached down from heaven and rescued me." Psalm 18:16a (NLT)
Remember when you were little and fairy tales were true? Don’t you sometimes wish they still were?
My niece Ellie was about 3 years old and living completely inside fairy tales. She dressed up as a princess for breakfast. She dreamed. She sang. She twirled. She danced her way through her days.
But she was also in a playgroup and had already been called names. Fat, ugly … though she was none of those things.
The real world, she discovered, was no fairy tale.
My nephew dreamed of being a fierce, brave hero, but was struggling at school.
Watching them discover this wonderful, magical world of fairy tales they loved so much just wasn’t true broke my heart.
And then a thought broke through. What if my niece’s wonder and joy wasn’t a lie at all? What if my nephew’s dreams of bravery weren’t just fantasy? What if they were actually pointing to the Truth?
What if they were pointing to the ultimate truth of the Gospel: the great Good News of a God who loves us and broke into history to come down and rescue us? Who moved heaven and earth to be near us, to love us — though it would cost Him everything He had?
As a child, I thought I knew what the Bible was about — and it wasn’t good.
I thought it was a rulebook filled with things I was supposed to do so God would love me. Or a book of these heroes I was supposed to copy so God would love me.
And so I wrote The Jesus Storybook Bible for my niece and nephew and every child I will only ever meet on the shared page so they could know what I didn’t — that the Bible isn’t a rulebook or a book of heroes.
"The Bible is most of all a Story. It’s an adventure story about a young Hero who comes from far away to win back His lost treasure. It’s a love story about a brave Prince who leaves His palace, His throne — everything — to rescue the ones He loves. It’s like the most wonderful of fairy tales that has come true in real life! You see the best thing about this story — it’s true!"*
Why do we love fairy tales? And long for them to be true? Are they just fantasy, a way to escape our lives? I believe they are the opposite.
These longings of ours are not fantasy. They are signposts. Pointing us beyond what we can see. Leading us into the heart of things. Into Hope and Joy and Love.
There is a Prince.
There is a Hero.
We are loved.
We are chosen.
We are beloved.
There is a Love we all long for.
There is Joy at the center of everything.
And Hope beyond the walls of the world.
There are Hands that hold us.
There is a purpose in the middle of it all.
And one day, God will heal His broken world and His children’s hearts, and wipe away every tear from every eye.
When we read this true story we are not escaping from life, we are escaping into life that is truly life.
But mostly we don’t believe it. We think it’s too good to be true. Happily ever after?
That just sounds like a fairy tale, a mere children’s story. And after all, we are adults. We have outgrown fairy tales. Fairytales, as anyone can tell you, just aren’t true. We live in the real world.
Stories don’t end happily ever after.
Or … do they?
Dear Father, thank You for sending us Jesus. Thank You that He didn’t just look down … He came down. Our Rescuer. Our Prince. Our Hero. All of our dreams come true! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
John 1:4, "In him was life, and the life was the light of men." (ESV)
Romans 15:13a, "… the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope …" (NIV)
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
How might believing the True Fairytale of the Gospel … believing that the Brave Prince, the Young Hero has come … has moved heaven and earth to be near you and love you, change how you live today?
*The Story of God’s Love For You, page 2, copyright Zondervan 2015
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