This is an excerpt from my book, “King & Country: The Story That Changes Everything,” available now on Amazon.
The story ends with words of anticipation:
He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away. (Revelation 21:3-4)
Every tear wiped away, the scourge of death silenced forever, all pain erased permanently. This is the hope that sustains when the heart is heavy. So whether you’re fearing the onslaught of sorrow, or whether you’re grieving with no end in sight, here’s what you need to know: there will be a final tear. In this weeping world, one day, one tear that falls will be the last tear. One genetic disorder will be the last genetic disorder. One cancer diagnosis will be the last cancer diagnosis. One day, one divorce will be the last divorce. One child who dies will be the last child to die. One heartbreak will be the final heartbreak.
And until the dawn of joy, every tear brings us closer to that final tear. Every tear that you and I weep over our broken dreams moves us closer to the end of the story and the hand that will wipe them all away. The light at the end of the tunnel is growing brighter every day, and will soon break forth with light and beauty that will scatter darkness and ugliness forever. “In the end,” J.R.R. Tolkien writes, “the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty forever beyond its reach.” This is what resurrection means: the sadness and darkness passes, permanently. Death dies. Jesus wins. The empty grave overtakes all things. And in the end, Easter comes for you.
The beloved hymn, “This is My Father’s World,” contains a verse that has sustained generations of suffering saints. It speaks of the great and glorious end of heaven and earth united at last, the whole world becoming Eden again, the curse rolled back permanently.
This is my Father’s world, O let me never forget
That though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the ruler yet.
This is my Father’s world: the battle is not done.
Jesus, who died, shall be satisfied,
And earth and heaven be one.
Even though the battle is not done, the war has been won. The God-Man is on the throne, and Jesus shall most certainly receive the reward of his suffering. He—and we along with him—will tread Satan into the dust, and every wrong will perish along with the snake. Joy will take the place of sadness, beauty will be exchanged for ashes, and worship will eclipse weeping.
This is the end to which everything is inexorably moving, drawn along by the hand that has been writing the story from the beginning. All of history, from the first bite of the fruit to the final tear, will prove in the end to be a fleeting shadow, a prelude to restoration. This is how the story of king and country concludes, with light and high beauty forever. In the end, God himself will make amends for everything we have suffered. In some mysterious way that is hard to comprehend in the midst of pain, everything will be more beautiful for having once been so broken. We will see with our own eyes and finally understand that it was all worth it.
So get your hopes up; the best is yet to come. Our best days are ahead of us, and always will be. When we’ve been there ten thousand years, the best will still be to come. The ending of this story will turn out to actually be the beginning of the real Story, a story going on and on, greater and greater with every turn of the page, rising into mountaintops of joy that we have not even imagined. Every day will be better, ever joy will be sweeter, every glory will be brighter, forever and ever without end. And, finally and fully alive in God’s Country, reigning alongside God’s King with unending joy, we will all live happily ever after.