• Jacqui Parker • June 2, 2020
One of my favorite things in life is a perfectly written phrase. One that exactly describes not just a scene but all the experiences wrapped up in a moment. This love of story and language began when I was a child. I remember so many evenings, even well into grade school, snuggled up in bed listening to my dad read stories. I continued this tradition with my own kids – three boys gathered around listening to stories starting with Dr. Suess and graduating to the last books I remember reading aloud with them, “The Wingfeather Saga”.
This love of story and language doesn’t end with books. It continues to songs, movies, even well-crafted television shows. One of my all time favorite stories/movies is “The Lord of the Rings”. I will freely admit that I have never read the books. I fell in love with the story as told by Director Peter Jackson. I waited anxiously for each of my children to reach the age I felt was appropriate for them to watch, and I loved getting to watch them experience it for the first time. It actually has become a tradition for my family to watch all 12 hours of the epic trilogy around Christmastime. Then Mr. Jackson released “The Hobbit” trilogy, and we added that as a Thanksgiving tradition. I don’t love it as much as LOTR, but I love enjoying it with my family.
One of the reasons I love stories is getting to see things from a different perspective. I have had so many moments in my life where God has spoken so clearly to me through these different mediums. I have laughed, and I have cried along with my favorite characters. There have been so many times when I have closed a book or walked out of a movie theater and was jolted by the fact that the world had just been continuing on as normal. Every once in awhile, in the midst of one of these great stories, God opens my eyes to see Him in a whole new way. Those are the best times.
I’m sure I’m not the only one who is muddling through the current situation in the world. Flip-flopping through panic, resignation, fear, peace, frustration, anger, grief…the list goes on and on. Some days I feel like can’t even take one more day. I know in my head that God sees – He knows everything that’s going on globally, nationally, locally, and in my own life. But, that doesn’t mean I feel it in my heart. It can be easy when we walk through hard things, whether they are on a global scale or just small failures in our own little lives, to feel like God should have done something differently. That if He really is love, why isn’t He, in all His power, reaching down and changing what is happening.
That takes me back to “The Hobbit”. Like I said, it’s not my favorite, but there is one scene that I should probably watch every single day. Take a look at it here – at least the first 2 minutes. Be aware that the move is rated PG-13 and can be intense.
It seems that all hope is lost, but then the dragon says, “Is that your child?” The father’s demeanor changes, and we see the determination in his eyes. He will do whatever it takes to save his child.
Listen to what the father says to him. “Stay still, son. Stay still.” Hasn’t our heavenly Father said that to us? In Psalm 46:10 ” He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” In Exodus 14:14 “The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Psalm 47:7 “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices!” How often do we forget to stay still – maybe not physically, but mentally still?
The boy gets still for a moment, but then he is drawn to turn and look at the dragon and all the destruction he is causing. The music and the sound effects reach a high point as he turns, distracted by what can only be felt as his end. BUT, the camera turns back to his father and the noise and chaos fades as he says to his son, “Look at me. You, look at me.”
The triune God is so other. There are so many things about Him that we cannot understand. Omnipotent. Omnipresent. Omnicient. These are words that we try to grasp, but in our humanity, we cannot fully know. What we do know is that God is in control. He sees, and He knows. More than that, there is a plan, and He has allowed evil to be a part of that plan. We sometimes feel the breath of that dragon, hear the sounds of chaos around us, and feel paralyzing fear, but we know that God in His great love, with determination in His eyes, allowed his son to be sacrificed for us, and because of this we know that things will get better. Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow. Sometimes, not in THIS lifetime. But, this world is not the end of the story. It is only the beginning. Put your trust in the Lord. Look to His strength and seek His face. He will give you what He knows you need in every season. Pour out your heart – all your fears, frustrations, anger, everything. Ask Him to give you peace when it seems like there can be no peace. Hear Him say to you, “Stay still. You, look at me.”
To steal a closing from the Apostle Paul in Thessalonians 3:16… “Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all.”