There was a movie last Christmas called “Have You Heard About the Morgan’s?” It was one of those movies that, in my humble opinion, the best parts were in the previews.
I was reminded today of the part of the movie when Sarah Jessica Parker is coaching Hugh Grant through his encounter with a bear. (I practically know it by heart as IT was one of those previews) At first she is calm and gives HG softly directed instructions to stand still and the bear would “go away”, but when the critter lifts up to his full 10 foot height, throws head back in an earth shaking roar and attacks full on, she begins to scream…”RUN, RUN, RUN”.
That scene came to my mind today and I saw myself. I recognized a similar “flight instinct” in response to some challenges I am facing–some BEARS in my life. There are some things that I honestly don’t get. I feel like I have read the manual. I have followed the rules. I have done everything I think God has told me to do but I have heard a clear ROAR and my first instinct has been to run.
We do that.
We can read God’s Word and fully embrace and believe His promise of who He is and what He desires for us to do. We can have the sweetest encounter with Him and solidly grip His specific instructions or directions for our lives. It all seems nice as long as we are not growled at or at worst, attacked.
As long as it SEEMS like God is at work.
As long as it LOOKS like He is for us.
As long as things are going according to plan, to the manual, we are pretty brave.
However, when an attack comes, we are very tempted to be …….OUT OF HERE!!!!
We are in good company. The disciples did it. In John 13:37 Peter adamantly professes his “lay down my life” loyalty to Jesus.
Then, in John 18, the bear growled.
There was blood and anger and fighting. There were weapons and torches and sizzling lanterns. An ear was eaten.
I can imagine Peter’s thoughts…Sometimes, they are my thoughts…
What’s this about?
This in NOT the plan.
This is NOT how this is supposed to go.
This is NOT how it is supposed to feel.
This is NOT what I understood the directions to say.
I think I need to RUN. I think I should RUN. I think I WILL RUN.
Later we discover, what seemed so wrong, what looked so bad, what was not very neat or comfortable or fun, was EXACTLY God’s plan.
I understand Peter. I almost always want to RUN when thing get messy. I want to run when things don’t go the way I think they should when God TELLS me to do something, leads me down a certain path, directs me into a new assignment and things seem to fall apart.
But, thanks to Peter, I think I’ll hang on for breakfast (John 21:12).
How about you? Do you feel like running today? What keeps you brave?
My “Bear Spray for the Day”–Phillipians 1:6
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