Every Thought Captive

In Light of the End

The second woe has passed; behold, the third woe is soon to come.

Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the Kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever.” And the twenty-four elders who sit on their thrones before God fell on their faces and worshiped God, saying,

“We give thanks to You, Lord God Almighty,  
who is and who was,  
for You have taken Your great power  
and begun to reign.  
The nations raged,  
but Your wrath came,  
and the time for the dead to be judged,  
and for rewarding Your servants, the prophets and saints,  
and those who fear Your name,  
both small and great,  
and for destroying the destroyers of the earth.”  

Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of His covenant was seen within His temple. There were flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and heavy hail.  

Revelation 11:14-19

The magic that comes with parenthood never ceases to amaze me. Learning to see the world through the eyes of a little one filled with wonder, awe, and innocence quickly takes effect. Becoming a mom to two wonder-filled boys has changed me in the most remarkable and humbling ways.

Our oldest son has become a voracious reader in recent years. Much to our delight and shared enjoyment, his imagination has been captivated by lengthy books in a well-known fictional series. As the series has progressed, we have watched him celebrate with the characters in victory and ache or groan with them in distress or defeat. The series is a wild and engaging ride. With each twist and turn, he will come to me with questions and concerns. Of course, I meet him in those moments, but here’s the catch: I know how the story ends. I’ve seen it – I know with full confidence how the very last word on the very last page in the very last book will play out. And so I can encourage him to hold fast and to stay the course. From my “knowing” perspective, I am sure that every heartbreak, betrayal, and seeming defeat will turn out okay in the end. I know how the story ends.

Perhaps you can relate through the lens of a beloved book or story. When we know the ending, shouldn’t that sustain us through the middle? The Apostle John pulls back the curtain in Revelation 11 to reveal a most spectacular moment in his vision – the sounding of the final trumpet. With the final blast comes a shout of celebration, a sound of victory, and this staggering truth – that God the Father is faithful to fulfill every one of His promises. John is showing us the end of the story. And it is so much greater than any story we have read. As we sit in the middle of God’s story, the book of Revelation tells us how the story will end. And this should bring deep encouragement to our souls. We long for His coming Kingdom and in fact, every longing this side of heaven points to that even deeper desire…for Christ to return and make all things new.

Yet as we wait for a New Heaven and a New Earth, let us encourage one another with this certain hope: Jesus is already on the throne. And His Kingdom will reign forever and ever. So we find ourselves situated in the “already but not yet.” Already He reigns. Already He rules. His Kingdom is forever and will outlast every diagnosis, every disease, every broken relationship, and every moment of suffering. Darkness will flee. Sin and death will be no more. Already He is King. And soon…very soon…the final trumpet will blast. We know how the story ends.

A dear friend reached out to me last month, on the anniversary of my mother’s heavenly homegoing. This precious friend also shares the scar of loss, so her words are quick to my heart. Knowing the anniversary was that day, she sent a note simply saying, “If only the trumpets would sound today!” My heart swelled with the thought, and I could not help but laugh with encouragement. One day, the trumpet will finally sound, and we will be standing at the burning edge of dawn, united with the saints who have gone before us, as we gather around the throne of our risen, reigning King. May we live today like those who know how the story ends.

About the Author

Photograph of Ann Higginbottom

Ann Higginbottom

Ann Higginbottom grew up in Dallas and is a proud graduate of Texas A&M University. She met her husband Robby after college, and they enjoy raising their children in their hometown close to all family members. Ann is an author and photographer (www.annhigginbottom.com) and also devotes much time to Kershaw's Challenge, a charity that focuses on caring for vulnerable children worldwide.