I was just watching the Chronicles of Narnia with my kids the other evening, and as I sat here wondering what my next blog post should be about, I’m reminded of the scene in the movie where Aslan allows Peter to fight a wolf on his own. Susan and Lucy were playing in the water when some enemy wolves showed up and threatened to kill them. Both Peter and Aslan heard Susan’s cry for help and came to her rescue. Now here’s the interesting part – Aslan could have easily destroyed these wolves himself, but he instead stands behind Peter, one who has never killed anything in his life, and lets him do the fighting. I love this! Instead of Peter getting upset with Aslan because he was making him do the hard work while Aslan just stood there, he took on his battle and defeated a vicious wolf. Because of this small battle, Peter became more prepared for bigger battles and he gained strength and confidence in who he was.
It’s the same in our lives as well. Sometimes it will seem as though God isn’t there, but He’s got our backs and is watching over our safety. Just like Aslan stood behind Peter, God is standing behind us – He is always with us, even when we seem to be fighting a battle alone. We are never alone!
What about the scene where the main battle had begun and Aslan lay ‘dead’ on the Stone Table? Once Susan and Lucy finally rose to join the others in battle, the Stone Table broke and Aslan rose alive again! Knowing full well that the battle had already begun, instead of jumping up and defeating all their enemies like we know Aslan could have easily done, he decided to take the girls to the White Witches castle and restore some lives first. Not only is there goodness in doing this, but in doing so, those who were in battle received that extra help, which I’m sure was much appreciated!
Sometimes God shows up in His own timing. We may not see it as being the best time in our minds, especially when we’re in a hurry to see an end result, but once we see the full picture, it becomes quite clear that God really does know what’s best, and when!
Aslan could have made life simpler for everyone by defeating the White Witch right away, or he could have done it in his own way, which I think allowed the characters to grow into who they were meant to be. If life was always a handout, how would we become stronger, or grow in character through life’s battles and circumstances? I don’t think Edmund would have learned life lessons quite the same if he didn’t have the opportunity to make the mistakes he had made. And it’s the same for us, I believe that God allows us to make mistakes, or take on challenges that may seem bigger than us, knowing full well that we will not only survive these challenges, but become stronger, wiser and better people because of them.
I think a big part of what the results of our circumstances will be, is how we choose to see them. Some may shut God right out, denying the fact that He was with them at all, or even blaming Him for what happened. Having once chosen this route in my own life, I know that a big part of this choice was ignoring God and not letting Him comfort or help me when I needed it. Others, on the other hand, may have felt His presence through the process and acknowledged that God was good. These are the people who will make sure He is glorified after the circumstance or battle has been overcome. They see God for who He is, knowing full-well that He is the comforter and is waiting and eager to help.
It’s easy to hear that God is always with us, even through the hard times, but sometimes it’s hard to feel His nearness. Watching Narnia gave me a bit of a visual understanding of what it might look like to have God’s protective support while we face our battles. It’s encouraging to have that reminder that God is always always always with us, and will never leave us. He’s got our back!