(From the vault – posting some of my past journal’s best entries)
My wife and I recently discovered the TV series Lost. We “rented” the entire first and second season from the library and watched it all in the span of a few weeks. We got so involved with the characters that at one point I was so exasperated and frustrated at what Jack or Locke or Charlie had done that I threw up my hands and ending up knocking out a few lights in our chandelier. There was one episode that really rocked my world. It was called “The Moth”.
Charlie, a musician who was addicted to heroin, was trying to get away from the others (not the “others” but the others – if you know what I mean) to get alone so he could get a fix of heroin from the bag he was carrying with him. Locke, the ‘father figure’ of the show, observed Charlie’s behavior and knew what was going on. He confronted him and told him, “Your stash will run out sooner or later, so why don’t you just hand them over? I want to help you through this.” After some thought, Charlie handed over his drugs. Locke then told him that if he asked him three times for the drugs back that he would give them to him.
Over time, and in the discomfort of de-toxing, Charlie broke down and asked twice for the drugs. Locke pointed to a moth that was struggling to free itself from its cacoon. He explained that he could help it in its struggle but that it was the struggle that made the moths wings strong and ready to fly. If it was freed prematurely without that necessary struggle it would be weak and unprepared to face the world. Charlie finally came the third time and said, “give me my drugs.” Locke replied, “you know this is the third time?” Charlie said, “I know. I have made my decision.” Locke gave it to him. Charlie, right then and there, threw it into fire. Locke said, “I knew you could do it. I am so proud of you.”
So what does this speak to you about? I’m interested to hear from you – leave a comment!
Here are a few of my thoughts and reactions:
I usually process things that really move me, whether it is in a book, blog, TV show or a movie through the grid of my relationship to God. Like Locke was to Charlie, God is my father figure. He doesn’t just instantly resolve all our problems or give us a struggle free, pain free existance. Yes, we often wish he would, and we often pray incessantly to that end, and then when he “doesn’t come through for us” according to our expectations we often get bitter and dissappointed with God and wonder what good is God if he won’t do such and such a thing for us?
What if he did? A scene from Bruce Almighty just flashed though my mind where Bruce says yes to everyones prayer and bedlam ensues complete with riots in the street, etc…
Often the best thing God can say to us is no, or wait. Yes, God will say yes, in fact, I believe he loves to say yes! But are there people still asking or praying anymore? Are we all still bitter about the time he said “no” or “wait” and so like a spoiled child we don’t talk to God anymore?
So what if, in a moment, he freed you from the cacoon of that vice or that disease, or whatever it is that we are struggling through? What would have failed to happen in our lives? Would our character somehow have failed to be developed from that trial by enduring that temptation or pain? I think so.
It is true that God can and does free people instantly from a vice (be it a drug or porn addiction) or from our suffering (such as cancer), and perhaps this is exactly what he wants to do in your life right now, so by all means keep asking, but also keep fighting. (Paul talks about our fight for the faith – I think this is basically hanging on to the truth that God is love and good and kind in spite of all the supposed “evidence” to the contrary. In this broken fallen world, occupied by enemy spiritual forces of pure evil, all “evidence” is suspect. As someone once said, “Don’t confuse life for God”.
I believe that like a loving understanding father, he is here for us in our trial. He knows far better than we do about what is best for us. I believe God gives us the freedom and strength to endure, to stand strong in it and through it. This strength is something we would not have had on our own… but now we do. Not only that, he promises to never allow us to go through anything that we couldn’t bear, that we couldn’t endure.
1 Corinthians 10:13 (New International Version – NIV)
13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.
Isn’t this amazing? Our Soveriegn God will never let us go through anything that we can’t bear. So if you are really going through it – he has great faith in you!
- like a moth to a flame (collegeimpressions.wordpress.com)