My favorite movie scenes are the ones where a 9.9 earthquake or the strongest hurricane known to man has just hit the earth. Explosions occur and debris flies everywhere. No human being could have ever survived this disaster, and then sure enough an action hero like Tom Cruise, Scarlett Johansson or Mark Wahlberg runs straight through the fire. Only destruction and desolation left behind them as they emerge in one piece. They are usually covered in black marks; blood stained clothes and sometimes limping. The crowd cheers, relief builds, and gratification fills everybody in the audience. Everyone watched secretly on the edge of his or her seat hoping for a victorious ending.
Often times when an actor comes through the devastation, he comes out different, doesn’t he? He seems ready to conquer the world in a whole new way; you can see grit, determination and conquest all over his face. They usually don’t show us the redemption scene but deep down we all know he is going straight from the survival scene full of burning flames to get the girl, his family back, or make wrongs right. As the music plays and credits begin to travel up the screen we travel home elated because we saw someone overcome what seemed like insurmountable challenges, we saw good triumph over evil.
What’s your fire?
For some of us we may see ourselves coming through the fire after a 5K. We see ourselves shouting, “I did it!” For others it may be winning a battle with cancer, getting a big promotion, or accomplishing something huge on a bucket list.
Something traumatic or extremely sad happens in my life and I picture myself so easily in the wreckage; tears and fears are on rewind without trying. Yet, there are a few very distinct times in my life where I can replay a scene and see myself so clearly and gloriously running out of the fire, not looking back. It’s these same conquering scenes that keep me confident and hopeful. When I am in the middle of a 9.9 earthquake in my life, I can honestly say to myself, remember when you made it through that last hurricane?
Do you have a redemption scene in your movie?
I have now realized it is impossible to be truly ready for a shocking accident, a sudden death of a loved one, or a horrific betrayal. I have realized hurt often doesn’t give us warning. Pain doesn’t pop up in our smart phone calendars. Most of the time sirens don’t ring to warn us of the impending fire heading right for us.
I did not expect many of the traumatic things which have hit my life, yet they did. As shocked, lonely, scared and destroyed as I have been in the past, with God’s help I have come through the fire over and over again. God’s deliverance in the past reminds me of what I can endure with his great grace in the future. Our personal redemption stories have the power to turn us away from fear, doubt and disbelief. Through the fire I have gained faith, grown in strength, learned to trust him no matter what may happen, matured in him, been able to share wisdom with others, and found peace I thought gone forever.
Just like the pillar Ebenezer stood as a monument set up by Samuel to remind Israel of God’s strong hand and their triumph. (1 Samuel 7:12) We too can have epic moments, memories and a rich redemptive history, to remind us of God’s triumph in our lives.
Has God ever led you out of the fire?
If and when a natural disaster hits your life. Steady yourself and hold on to the God you know and the God who has brought you through the fire over and over again. Picture yourself running through the flames into the arms of Jesus.