I love CS Lewis’ classic story The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. It is a great read and Hollywood actually turned it into a very good movie.
Four children are forced to leave London during the Blitz and are sent to relative’s country home to escape the Nazi bombing. There isn’t much to do and they spend their days playing hide and go seek. It is sort of drab and boring and they quickly grow tired of the game.
One day the youngest of the group Lucy steps into a wardrobe to hide. As she backs deeper and deeper into the wardrobe, she discovers she is walking in snow covered woods. She has stepped into another world. This world is held captive by an evil white witch who ruthlessly rules the kingdom and turns her enemies into stone.
As the story goes on, all four children step into this world and get caught up in the battle to save Narnia and free the kingdom from the clutches of the white witch. They befriend a pair of beavers who tell them of Aslan (the Christ figure). The most powerful line of the story is when the beaver says…
“They say Aslan is on the move—perhaps has already landed.” And then Lewis continues to describe what happened as the children first heard the name of Aslan… “And now a very curious thing happened. None of the children knew who Aslan was any more than you do; but the moment the Beaver had spoken these words everyone felt quite different. Perhaps it has sometimes happened to you in a dream that someone says something which you don’t understand but in the dream it feels as if it had some enormous meaning—either a terrifying one which turns the whole dream into a nightmare or else a lovely meaning too lovely to put into words, which makes the dream so beautiful that you remember it all your life and are always wishing you could get into that dream again. It was like that now. At the name Aslan each one of the children felt something jump in its inside. Edmund felt a sensation of mysterious horror. Peter felt suddenly brave and adventurous. Susan felt as if some delicious smell or some delightful strain of music had just floated by her. And Lucy got the feeling you have when you wake up in the morning and realize that it is the beginning of the holidays or the beginning of summer.”
Mission field – the mission field, ministry itself and what we’ve seen at Carver very much reminds me that the call to serve the Lord is very much like stepping through the wardrobe door. Yes – we are stepping into a strange new territory. Yes – we will see, first hand, the struggles of the people we are there to serve. Yes – it can be dangerous and thrilling at the same time. “Wouldn’t it be easier to not do this?” Of course it would. Are there people on the other end that desperately need liberation and freedom that only Christ can bring? Absolutely!
When we go into the field and are dependant on God, it is thrilling to see Him on the move. As we labor we sometimes get a glimpse of the kind of synergy that only God possess. With Him 1+1 = 7 (or 70…or 700). To be able to see this synergy first hand is glorious. God orchestrates and creates things that only He can take credit for. Think about Carver this year and all the pieces that came together – donors that contributed money and food, the Courageous movie and “oh by the way wouldn’t it be great if Carver would go with us…” and it happened. The prayer warrior who prayed every week by name for every single player at Carver calling out 100 names to God weekly. The random connection that heard about the Carver ministry and got us in touch with Ken Bevel (and we had no idea what his story was – and wow, what a story!) That Coach McGee asked us to give devotional talks at the end of the meals. Only God could have made all this happen and we got to go along for the ride!
But…we had to step through the wardrobe door in order to see it. You know, it is like the old saying, “A ship in the harbor is safe but that isn’t what ships are built for”. We were made for the field, made to play the game, designed to fight the fight.
God in His gracious mercy saved me from my wretched sin. I’m not a “basically good” person. My heart is deceitfully wicked and my natural inclination is away from God. I very much want to eat the fruit of the tree and like being my own God. And yet despite my rebellion and, in reality, almost my hatred for God’s authority…He saved me. He saved me from my assured destruction.
And so, now I can coast. I’m saved. I can live out my days in relative comfort doing minor good works or I can boldly, radically, passionately step through the wardrobe door and go into the field to serve my Master and Savior.
What will you do?