A friend asked me at church the other day where I had been and what I had been doing.
I told her that I had been in Narnia fighting the White Witch.
She smiled. She's been fighting her own battles.
It's funny how you can know how the story ends, that the good prevails over the evil, but still hate the battle scenes in a movie. I can watch a movie over and over, but still, when the battle begins, my heart races, I become anxious, and when it is finally over, I feel exhausted. Reminding myself that I've seen it before, and I know how it ends, doesn't change my reactions.
It's the same with life.
My victory is secured by God Himself, but I don't look forward to the battles.
"Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us." Romans 8:37
I can relate to a man named Gideon. His story is told in the book of Judges.
An angel of God came to Gideon while he was hiding in a cave, scared to death of the Midianites. The People of Israel had been under the cruel domination of the Midianites for seven years.
The Angel of God called Gideon, the one hiding in a cave, a "mighty warrior."
Gideon immediately began to correct Him. I imagine Gideon knew that he could be called a lot of things, but "mighty warrior" was not one of them.
God told this "mighty warrior" that He had a job for him to do. And it involved going into battle with the very enemies from which Gideon had been hiding.
Though Gideon persisted in trying to convince God that He had the wrong man, he didn't change God's mind.
God said to him, "I'll be with you. Believe me, you'll defeat Midian as one man." (Judges 6:16 the Message)
Gideon believed Him. Although it took him a little time and some added drama, he defeated the enemy.
I'm a lot like Gideon. If someone called out "mighty warrior" in a crowd, I'd never think to turn around and ask if they were speaking to me.
But in truth, God has called me to fight many battles while promising that He would be with me, and that I too would see victory.
I have fought them . . . and He has been faithful.
Not too long ago I was watching Prince Caspian from The Chronicles of Narnia, and my breath was taken away. It was like everything stood still while God reminded me that there are more battles for me to fight.
I was Lucy.
God was talking to me.
He's always been talking to me.
Lucy: The others didn't believe me.
Aslan: And why was that stopping you from coming to me?
Lucy: I'm sorry. I was too scared to come alone. Why wouldn't you show yourself? Why didn't you come roaring in to save us like last time?
Aslan: Things never happen the same way twice, Dear One.
Lucy: If I'd come earlier would everyone have died? Could I have stopped that?
Aslan: We can never know what would have happened Lucy. But what will happen is another matter entirely.
Lucy: You will help us?
Aslan: Of course. As will you.
Lucy: Oh. I wish I were braver.
Aslan: If you were any braver, you'd be a lioness.
I'd love for God to come in and fight all my battles and keep me off the battlefield.
I'd love to stay where life felt safe.
I'm not much a risk-taker.
But God knows it's in the battles where I learn to depend on Him the most and where I can see His heart the best.
I heard Beth Moore say one time, "If we got the life we wanted and prayed for, we'd be bored to death."
There are certainly some days where I would gladly welcome some boredom. But I wouldn't trade what I've learned in Narnia, in the battles, for any security or safety the world has to offer.
Beside my Aslan, even on the battlefield, I'm the safest I could ever be.
I've missed writing. There's wasn't much time for blogging "in Narnia," but I did come home from my adventures with more stories than I could ever tell.
I came home from my adventures with something else.
I came home with a bit more of the image of the mighty warrior and lioness God has called me to be.
It might have been a wee-bit. But it was still a bit.