I’ve cried at a lot of movies, but only after two did I leave the theater in tears that were difficult to control. The first was Pearl Harbor, and through those tears I said to Robert, “I can’t believe that really happened.” History was coming alive to me for the first time.
The second was tonight’s opening of Prince Caspian. If the Wardrobe was about Salvation, Sacrifice, and Redemption, Caspian is about Sanctification, Dependence, Trust and the Surrender of Self and Self-Sufficiency. Which is right where I live. Right where all Christians live.
When Peter charges into battle after “waiting long enough” for Aslan, I couldn’t help but think of several verses from Scripture….
Unless the LORD builds the house,They labor in vain who build it;Unless the LORD guards the city,The watchman keeps awake in vain. t is vain for you to rise up early,
To retire late,
To eat the bread of painful labors;
For He gives to His beloved even in his sleep.
Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our stronghold.
For from days of old they have not heard or perceived by ear,
Nor has the eye seen a God besides You,
Who acts in behalf of the one who waits for Him.
Peter has to call the Narnians to retreat twice when the enemy is overtaking them, and he still doesn’t immediately think to consult Aslan. Life is lost over his choice, his hastiness. All efforts are not entirely fruitless-there are some battles won, but they don’t bring about true victory. They were indeed, in vain.
Even in the last weeks, I’ve tried to think(stress, be consumed by) my way to a solution to a problem. How does human behavior work? Why do people do the things they do? What would be the best way to approach this difficulty? What class could I take? What book should I read? Maybe the internet has a good article on this particular subject. Surely there is a support group in town, or a message board full of wisdom. What friend can I call?
And I guess there’s nothing wrong with those things inherently, but the real wisdom, the real change came when I got up early to pray specifically about this problem – when I sat in the quiet and prayed, read, and tried to listen. I say change, because I didn’t get a specific answer -no specific directive from scripture, no 3 step formula, definitely not a “Here’s what you should do next.” But I knew the Lord was with me, that He was hearing me, and I had peace that it was in His hands. I can take a step in faith.
When Lucy stands next to Aslan, with her tiny dagger, and Good prevails I was overcome with the reminder of the words of another warrior…
This day the LORD will deliver you up into my hands, and I will strike you down and remove your head from you. And I will give the dead bodies of the army of the Philistines this day to the birds of the sky and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that all this assembly may know that the LORD does not deliver by sword or by spear; for the battle is the LORD’S and He will give you into our hands.”
1 Samuel 17:46-48
I want this to be my prayer in these times of battle, in times of confusion, and when I’m feeling like acting in my own strength…..
You are my King, O God;
Command victories for Jacob.
Through You we will push back our adversaries;
Through Your name we will trample down those who rise up against us.
For I will not trust in my bow,
Nor will my sword save me.
But You have saved us from our adversaries,
And You have put to shame those who hate us.
In God we have boasted all day long,
And we will give thanks to Your name forever.
May I cease engaging in vain and fruitless efforts which have not been asked of me. May I boast in my weakness and in my God.