The Beginning and the End

by Pastor Todd Witmer
Lori and I find ourselves in a chapter of life where beginnings and endings are intersecting. Within the past twelve months, we witnessed the beginning of life for two granddaughters. During this same time, my mother has continued in the physical and mental decline that takes her closer to the end of her days. From this unique vantage point, I have noticed a few things.
Waiting holds a prominent place in the experience of both beginning and end. The last few weeks and days prior to birth are often filled with an anxious anticipation. So much has been prepared—clothing,
furniture, work and home schedule changes. Now, the family waits for things to get started. When will this baby arrive? Waiting is a reality for the end of life as well. Tasks that can be performed quickly and independently become few and far between. Less mobility results in an increase of times when one must simply wait.
A second factor common to both beginning and end could be summed up in the phrase “hard work required.” As it is often remarked, there is a reason the birth process is called “labor.” Mothers know there are feelings of relief and joy with the beginning of this new life, coupled with the feeling of being run over by a truck (a first-hand report I heard during the past year). Hard work continues at home, as feeding, sleeping, and changing schedules may overlap and mix together in the first few weeks. Conversely, approaching the end of life demands hard work of a different form. Formerly simple tasks can take on a level of complexity that results in fatigue. It takes hard work to remain positive and keep trying when the activities that were taken for granted are now challenges nearly beyond ability.
He said to me, ‘It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End.’ (Revelation 21:6)
The above verse from John’s vision in Revelation reminds me that God is Lord of both beginning and end. Just as He will bring this world to an end and establish a new heaven and earth, so, also, He is present with us throughout the span of our lives. I can trust that He will bring to completion all of the loose ends of this world, including those in my life.
Will you trust Him with your beginning, end, and everything in between?

Leave a Reply