|Image Source: Jason Blackeye|
The greatest storytellers understand that stories need to have lows as well as highs, anti-climax as well as climax, conflict as well as resolution. Try to imagine a story that never had any moments of conflict or struggle. The protagonist is born into a loving, wealthy family, she never fails at anything and she dies rich at an old age having achieved all of her dreams.
First, the entertainment value of this story is not very high. I don't think there would be any major film studios battling for the rights to turn it into a movie. Second, I don't think that the protagonist in this story would appreciate their wealth and success because they had never experienced a life without it.
A happy ending in and of itself does not make a good story unless there were serious moments of conflict that put the possibility of a happy ending in doubt.
Our lives are a continuous cycle of great love and great suffering. God is both endlessly outpouring in love and self-emptying in suffering.
Jesus' life is a perfect example of the flow of love and suffering that humanity faces. He perfectly modelled the flow of crucifixion and resurrection that all humans experience in various forms during their lives on Earth.
"Any kind of authentic God experience will usually feel like love or suffering, or both." - Richard Rohr in The Universal Christ.While it is great to look forward to the promise of a happy ending, we should take comfort in knowing that God is present in our successes and our failures, our gains and our losses, our joys and our griefs.
“I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die"- John 11:25 (NIV)