I was struggling…again…doubting God. Why was He just sitting idly by, watching me suffer? Does He even hear my prayers? Does He not see me slipping further into that pit of despair? Will He not reach down to grab hold of me before I slither so far down that He can’t see me anymore? Does He not see me trying to claw my way back up? Trying to survive? Maybe He doesn’t even care? He did before…I know He did. He has rescued me many times before. Perhaps this was one time too many for me, though. Was He tired of saving me? I keep looking for His hand, for His saving grace…just like the times before. But there is nothing…at least not where I am searching. Does this sound familiar to you? Have you ever struggled with this doubt? Have you ever looked for God to save you again…in the very same way He did before? Yes? I am so glad I wasn’t the only one! And do I have some truth to share with you for When God Doesn’t Answer The Same Way Twice.
**I was on Facebook live talking about this post. See below for the recording! I got a bit emotional**
Where Are You?
The year was 2008. I was struggling with some things in life and I was wondering why God wasn’t rescuing me again just like the previous time. I kept calling out to Him, begging Him to come, and yet I felt so distant and unheard. Words cannot describe what it felt like to live in such a dark, oppressive pit. I think about it now and I wonder how I could’ve survived but by the grace of God.
I didn’t see it then, though. But as I stare down into that pit…I see that it would’ve been impossible to survive such a place without God.
I remember hunting for answers to my doubts…it seemed like a fruitless pursuit when my hands would come up empty. It seemed like I was alone in my uncertainty.
You see, it wasn’t that I didn’t believe that God couldn’t save me. I just didn’t believe He wanted to.
I didn’t believe Him.
Family Movie Night
I love movies. Good movies. Movies that stir the soul.
Those kinds of movies are so hard to come by these days!
I was looking forward to watching “Prince Caspian” since I had enjoyed the first one so much.
We get to the theater, order our snacks and find the perfect seats. I am sitting in my seat, munching on popcorn and sipping my pop, completely enthralled with the movie.
Have you ever experienced the Holy Spirit speaking to your heart through a movie? It doesn’t happen all that often to me…but this turned out to be one of those times.
Lucy goes to find Aslan just as the battle between the Narnians and the Telmarines ensues. He has not appeared to the children yet, however, they have been waiting for Him to come. Finally, Lucy decides that she must go find Him herself. She must seek Him out instead of waiting for Him to come to her. The others have even doubted that Aslan was in Narnia.
But not Lucy. She never doubts Aslan. Never.
She is on horseback and she is riding as fast as she can. The enemy is after her and she is almost overtaken when suddenly Aslan appears to save her.
She is so happy to see Him. However, she was struggling with the same question I had been struggling with for so long.
Where has He been? Why didn’t He come?
Why Didn’t You Come?
She asks Aslan, “Why won’t you show yourself? Why didn’t you jump in and save us, like last time?”
Aslan replies, “Things never happen the same way twice, dear one.”
WOW!! I was glued to this scene! I was right there, in that forest with Lucy and Aslan.
Things never happen the same way twice.
In that moment, tears falling down my cheeks, I realized that God was rescuing me, just in a different way. It all looks different, but He is rescuing me again all the same. I then understood in a more profound way the promise God gave to me in the preceding months that is found in Isaiah.
Doubting Our Choices
The scene continues with Lucy uncertain of the choices she has made. She is referring to the attack on the Talmarine castle earlier on in the movie where the Narnians failed and many had died.
She asks Aslan, “If I’d have come earlier (to see Him), would everyone who died… could I have stopped that?”
How often have you doubted your choices? How often have you wondered if life would’ve turned out ‘better’ if you had made a different decision? What if I had done something differently? Would I have been in the same frame of mind? Would I be struggling with being depressed? So many questions…and Aslan’s reply brought comfort to my heart.
“We can never know what would have happened, Lucy. But what will happen is another matter entirely.”
While I believe God is All-knowing and He knows the outcome of every possible decision we make, WE don’t know and it is not for us to know what might have been. But, the choices we make from now on are something entirely different! Another chance to make good choices and to follow the guiding of the Holy Spirit. I believe that the point here is to not keep focusing on the past, but look forward to what is new.
He is going to do a new thing!
Help Is On Its Way – With Help
The conversation between the two continues with Lucy asking Aslan, “You mean you’ll help?”
She is full of hope, she longs for Him to bring victory. He is so powerful and valiant – He is magnificent. Scripture says that the Lion is majestic on pace, stately in walk and mighty among beasts. The Lion does not turn away from any, He retreats before nothing! Our Savior will help us. Believe it. Know it. He will never back down.
This is our King Jesus, Lion of the Tribe of Judah! He retreats before nothing!
A Stirring Response
Aslan responds to Lucy’s question. His reply stirs her heart. “Of course. As will you.”
“Of course. As will you.”
Lucy doubts her courage, “Oh, I wish I was braver.”
Aslan’s reassurance made my heart feel so much courage! I felt like I was being prepared for battle! And I was going to have victory! But along with courage, comes doubt. And I had work to do. He wasn’t going to allow me to just sit by while He obliterated the enemy. He could of course, in fact, He already did. But what good would that do me? This is Aslan’s response:
“If you were any braver, you’d be a lioness.”
Don’t you just love that? That line just gets me every time. We are so much braver than we think we are. We have the courage of the Lord. What kind of courage could be better? Dear sister, if you were any braver, you’d be a lioness! Never forget that!
The very short scene ends with Aslan’s incredible, fierce roar. So much spiritual truth packed into less than a minute of film. My heart was satisfied. I knew everything would be ok. And He is faithful in His promises – even the ones He speaks through a children’s movie.
Our God is not predictable, just as Mr. Tumnus describes Aslan at the end of the first movie – He is not a tame lion, but He is safe. Our God can be trusted with our entire life. We can believe Him, believe that he answers our prayers, answers our cries for help – not always in the way we expect Him to, not always in the exact same way He did before. But He is faithful to save.
Have you ever experienced anything like this? Has God ever used a movie or a book to speak His truth to you? Have you ever had a response from God that was both terrifying, yet heart-stirring? Like you were frightened to take that step, but you knew that if you didn’t, you’d regret it for the rest of your life? And this response brought life into your soul? Like an awakening…
I included the movie clip for you to enjoy.
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