The night before Christmas, we watched The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe. It’s been some years since I watched the movie, and there were a few moments in the story that gripped me afresh. But I just never got around to penning a post in the end-of-year daze. Come NYE, I listened to a sermon that reminded me to write it all down. So here’s my first post of 2018, on journeying through the wardrobe of life, wherever it may lead…
Remember that God is good.
Are you like little Lucy? Often misunderstood because people just assume they know you better than they really do, or don’t take you seriously a lot of the time? Lucy has a gentle, trusting nature, an intuitive sense about people, wisdom beyond her years and a kind and honest heart. She is also very perceptive and quick to forgive. But what I love most about Lucy is her tender heart and childlike faith.
“He’ll be coming and going,” Tumnus said. “One day you’ll see him and another you won’t. He doesn’t like being tied down – and of course he has other countries to attend to. It’s quite all right. He’ll often drop in. Only you mustn’t press him. He’s wild, you know. Not like a tame lion.”
“No… but he is good.” (Lucy)
At the heart of journeying through unknown territory is, perhaps, the necessary core belief that God is good. Change is not always pleasant, and sometimes we can feel like the rug has been pulled out from under our feet, but if we can trust that He is good, we can ride through the storm.
Not all who wander are lost.
Sometimes, in the midst of going through a transition, you might get a bit lost. Like Edmund, a bully of a boy who tries to hide his insecurity by acting over-confident and impulsive. Like Edmund, many of us long for power, authority, recognition – significance. Perhaps you have been led astray by the White Witch of your life, whatever that may be. Perhaps you feel conflicted and torn up about how things have changed, about the future that looks bleak and uncertain.
Then Edmund meets Aslan, and the two have a long and private conversation on a hilltop. No one knows what transpires between them, but in the end, Edmund is reinstated and forgiven. But it is a different Edmund who comes off that mountaintop – an Edmund who has witnessed the grace and glory of the mighty Aslan, and who is transformed by that encounter. No longer the spiteful coward that he used to be, he bravely takes up arms in battle – even to the death.
The lesson from Edmund? If you’re in that place of feeling lost and rejected, know that your story is far from written yet. There is grace and restoration for the wandering heart who is willing to come back home, and even more, a destiny waiting for you to step into.
The cost of safety.
Change can wreak havoc in a person’s life – or even his whole community. Change can be disruptive and dangerous and painful and frightening. And if we only look at these disheartening factors, none of us would embrace that change. Quite like Susan, the lady of the group who is by nature cautious, protective, motherly and very practical. Like many of us, she has a big fear of the unknown, and much prefers to be in the background as encourager and gentle friend. But Aslan calls her to be brave.
(Susan asking) “Is he quite safe?”
“Safe?” said Mr Beaver, “Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the king, I tell you.”
Are you hesitating to take that leap into the great unknown, because the cost might be too great? Perhaps another question to ask yourself might be, what is the cost of staying “safe”?
You are part of a bigger Story.
King Peter, the man of the group. Or rather, the boy who grew into a man. Peter, it would seem from the narrative, is a born/natural leader, but not one without his faults. He is often insensitive, and sometimes self-righteous, but the thing about Peter is that he is not too proud to admit his mistakes. And that makes all the difference.
Peter rises to the occasion when the time is right, not out of any kind of desire to take the crown or prove his mettle, but because he knows Him who he serves.
“For Narnia and for Aslan!” is his battle cry.
I have a lot to learn from Peter myself. Too often, I am preoccupied with seeking control of people and plans, too focused on proving my own capabilities and character, and I forget that it’s not supposed to be all about me. I’m part of a bigger Story than anything I have written.
I ask you: “How many times will you pick me up
When I keep on letting you down?
And each time I will fall short of Your glory
How far will forgiveness abound?”
And You answer: “My child, I love you
And as long as you’re seeking My face
You’ll walk in the power of My daily sufficient grace”
Grace | Laura Story