Last words. We’re all going to have them one day. All of us.
And on that depressing thought, I leave you.
In movies, they always make a big deal out of last words. It’s usually something awesome or tragic. In Harry Potter, Dumbledore pleads with Snape, “Severus. . . please.” In books, the last sentence is important because it sets the stage as to what the characters will live like after the story ends. In A Farewell to Arms, after the main character’s love interest dies, Hemingway writes, “After a while I went out and left the hospital and walked back to the hotel in the rain.” I hate that ending by the way. Super depressing. I definitely threw the book across the room when I first read it.
We cannot forget one of the all time best last few words in a movie: Casablanca. “Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”
They are a way of saying . . . “This is what is going to happen after you walk out of this movie theatre or put down this book.” Sometimes they say, “This is what’s truly important to me.” They can be surprising or hilarious. Sometimes, the character doesn’t even know they are about to die so their last words are something along the lines of “I’m going to the bathroom.” And then they just collapse on the floor melodramatically.
For my last assignment in college, I wrote a story in which one of the characters dies. I spent quite a while struggling with what the character should say in her final moments. It’s important, after all.
The point I’m getting at is sometimes we can think we’re over with. We’re done. We’ve messed up too much and don’t have a book in front of us with our names on it so we can flip through the pages to read the ending. We don’t have a movie showcasing our entire life, so we can’t see the ending. Do we end up happy? Are we poor or rich? Do we follow our dreams? Do we die alone? We don’t know. We can’t.
The other day, I was reading the Bible and came across a passage I didn’t know existed.
And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.
2 Thessalonians 2:8 (NKJV)
It’s hard to imagine a world without sin, without the devil, without destruction. From tornadoes ripping apart elementary schools to friends passing away in car accidents, tragedies are a way of life in our world. We kind of just have to deal with them because we can’t stop them.
But the above verse says that one day the evil one will be destroyed. Destruction itself will be destroyed. And how does God consume the evil one? With the BREATH of his mouth. He doesn’t even have to try. He just BREATHES. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never encountered someone’s breath being so powerful that it literally destroys something . . . except if they have bad breath and it destroys your sense of smell, but that’s a whole other story.
How does the Lord destroy evil, this evil we as human beings have lived with for THOUSANDS OF YEARS? With the BRIGHTNESS of His coming. He doesn’t even bother moving his hand. His presence, His brightness is enough to destroy years of evil.
Basically, God has the last word. And it’s a good one. It’s hopeful and full of joy and goodness.
Even if you feel like your life is over with, even if life doesn’t go perfectly, if you do not lose faith in God, He will have the last word in your ultimate ending, and it’ll be a happy ending, the kind of ending that would make fictional characters jealous.
Riding off into the sunset? How about riding off into One brighter than the Sun? Because in that case, He’s got you covered.