So what do Finding Nemo, The Lion King, and your life have in common? They are all wonderful illustrations of redemption told through story! In each case, someone orphaned or lost is pursued with great fervor until he is brought back to where he should be, and where his primary relationship or purpose is restored.
In Finding Nemo, a young fish’s disobedience causes him to be swept away far from home where he encounters danger, faces fears and fights for his life. Meanwhile, his father teams up with a helper-fish, searches for his son everywhere from the drop-off near home to The Great Barrier Reef in Australia, and the father and son are ultimately reunited.
In The Lion King, young Simba loses his father, and loses his way until his father speaks to him from on high to remind him of his ultimate purpose in life.
And your life–well, that story you already know.
The most radical things God teaches us in his Word are taught through story. And that’s probably because we, the presumptuous, over-truthed, grace-proof, obeyers of the law wouldn’t quite get it any other way.
I get an entirely different idea of what God is like when I read the “Do not lie,” finger in my face from Exodus 20, than when I see how a lying prostitute is praised for her great act of faith in James 2, or how the righteous in Acts 5 drop dead for telling a fat one that would make them look better than everyone else. Clearly, God cares a whole lot more about the condition of our hearts than what might slip off our tongues.
And that same thing happens when I read the elusive-sounding “God is love” alone, versus reading it alongside the story of Hosea who loved and pursued his wife throughout her adulterous acts of harlotry. That narrative puts a whole new spin on love that does not keep a record of wrongs. (I Corinthians 13)
Without the benefit of story our idea of God gets way in the way of the truth of God, and what we end up with is a mistaken image of a god who fits nicely within our finite, intellectual, spirit-devoid grasp.
So, what has he done for you? What story will you tell? What’s your Finding Nemo or The Lion King? How will you describe a God who is powerful enough to split the Red Sea, cause the sun to stand still, and raise a dead man from his grave, but sensitive and caring enough to pursue us, forgive us, and love us before we’ve ever even acknowledged who he is?
Come and hear, all you who fear God; let me tell you what he has done for me. Psalm 66:16 (NIV)
Sherry Boykin is a women’s conference speaker and author from Pennsylvania. Her ministry, But-Kickers: Growing Your Faith Bigger Than Your “But!” encourages women rise above the “buts” and doubts of life and trust God for the otherwise unbelievable. Sherry’s experiences in inner-city ministries, as a jungle missionary to Peru, and as an old maid who dated twenty years before finding her Mr. Right provide a striking backdrop for countless life lessons laced through the Word.
Visit her site at http://www.SherryBoykin.com