Some things are just meant to be. And we’re okay with that. In fact, we wouldn’t have it any other way. We have a desire for the inevitable. We believe things should work out in the end. It’s part of who we are. And it’s one reason that Avengers Endgame is breaking box office records as millions flock to see the closure of an iconic franchise.
Endgame features Thanos, the most persistent of villains, who boldly declares, “I am inevitable” as the story begins and then a second time near its final climax. But any audience watching the movie knows better. They do not know exactly how it will happen, but they know that evil will lose in the end. Despite the seemingly unstoppable darkness of Thanos, the only real inevitability is that the light will overcome in the end, piercing through the darkness and bringing a bright new day, even if that means the ultimate sacrifice of some of the most central and beloved characters in the Marvel universe.
To be inevitable is to be unavoidable, unstoppable, inescapable, assured, and even predestined. Sometimes inevitably is positive like the sun rising tomorrow, but other times it can be negative like death, taxes, and Thanos.
Some things in life just seem inevitable and more often than not it seems to be the negative variety. Life is hard and difficulties surround us. The pain of hunger, loss, and disease suffered by so many is perhaps rivaled only by the lack of satisfaction found in success, accomplishment, and wealth achieved by the few. Pain feels inevitable. Darkness always seems to be lurking around the corner and despite our every effort it will not go away. But do we share the same confidence as the Avenger audience? Do we know that something greater is at work? Are we convinced that evil and pain will be defeated in the end?
The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the plans of his heart to all generations.
We crave the inevitable light, looking for a hero to save the day. We want to know that something will overcome the darkness, no matter how thick and overwhelming it may seem. We long for purpose, a meaning to it all, and a reason for it all. Life should end like a good movie with some closure, a happy ending, and a final rest. Near the conclusion of Endgame, Tony Stark, via recorded message, assures his family and friends that, “Everything will work out exactly as it’s suppose to.” Isn’t that what we all want? Even through the uncertainty of future unknowns, we want to think that things will work out like they’re suppose to . . . according to a plan . . . and for our good.
. . . who works all things according to the counsel of his will.
But good things rarely come without sacrifice. That is true in movies and in life. Tony found himself restless after discovering a possible solution to the chaos wreaked by Thanos. As much as he wanted to ignore the fight, he could not help but engage in it and he only found true rest after giving himself as the ultimate sacrifice for his friends and the universe. Inevitable darkness was met by inevitable light, but at great cost. That is the story we love. The ultimate evil, the ultimate battle, the ultimate sacrifice, and the ultimate victory. Though it has been told countless times over countless generations we never grow tired of it. Could it be that this epic story points to what C. S. Lewis called the true myth? Jesus Christ is the greatest warrior who has ever been imagined . . . except His story is true. It is the one story that all the others point to. His life, death, and Resurrection defeated the domain of darkness offering redemption and new life to every soul that has ever existed. The stakes could not have been higher and the reward could not have been greater. His is the transcendent victory. And because of His unthinkable sacrifice we can have a future hope that the pain of life will be finally and completely destroyed.
No wisdom, no understanding, no counsel can avail against the Lord
We have a hard-wired desire for the inevitable . . . not inevitable darkness, but inevitable light. A random existence is not appealing to us. We want an assured hope for the future, a knowing that things will work out. The themes in Endgame are not new, they are common to most movies that feature good overcoming evil, but they are often repeated because they attract us to the theaters. I believe we are attracted to those themes because we are created to be attracted to God. Only God is the prevailing light in the darkness. He is the only One who provides meaning, and purpose, and reason to life. It is by the sacrifice of Jesus that a happy ending, final closure, and a peaceful rest can be found. God is the only inevitable force in the universe. He is the unstoppable one. All of His purposes will be accomplished. And take heart, for all of His purposes are good.
For the Lord of hosts has purposed, and who will annul it? His hand is stretched out, and who will turn it back?