The Divine Movie Maker
You’ve probably had those crazy moments in the middle of watching a movie. The scene is tense – filled with drama and danger. The characters are at risk. The dark music draws you in. The apprehension builds. Your palms are sweating and your pulse is elevated as you grip the armrests of your theater seat. The moment rivets your mind, body, and soul. Suddenly the scene ends, often with the main characters surviving the immediate risk. The story ensues and you calm down, realizing…it’s just a movie.
The Movie is Not Over
Of course, life is not a movie – but it is filled with scenes that feel very traumatic and threatening at the moment. As a pastor for almost 30 years, I’ve sat, shared, and prayed with many people caught in the middle of a situation of heartbreak, trauma, loss, or fear. I’ve had my share of those scenes in my own story along the way.
The truth that brings great comfort in times like these is the reminder that the movie is not over yet. As bad as the present scene feels, it will pass and the story will unfold under the hand of our gracious and loving God. I am also reminded that even when we do not understand the movie, we know the “Movie Maker” – and He is good.
Feeling Forsaken but Clinging to His Faithfulness
In a recent early Sunday morning prayer time, our group prayed from Psalm 22. This well-known Messianic Psalm reflects Jesus’ agony on the cross – in many ways the most painful, cruel, unjust “scene” in history. The Psalm begins, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? Why are You so far from helping Me, and from the words of My groaning? O My God, I cry in the daytime, but You do not hear; And in the night season, and am not silent” (Psalm 22:1 & 2). This reflects the real emotions of the Psalmist (and of the Savior in a prophetic sense) at that dreadful moment.
Yet, the next verses focus, not on the feeling of the present scene, but on the character of the Movie Maker: “But You are holy, enthroned in the praises of Israel. Our fathers trusted in You; They trusted, and You delivered them. They cried to You, and were delivered.”
The rest of Psalm 22 goes back and forth between the pain of the immediate scene and the greater reality of the character and promises of the Movie Maker. The last section of the Psalm is filled with praise, in spite of the excruciating pain of the moment. If you have a minute, read Psalm 22:22-31 and rejoice in the character of your Movie Maker. For example, we read, “You who fear the LORD, praise Him! All you descendants of Jacob, glorify Him, and fear Him, all you offspring of Israel! For He has not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; Nor has He hidden His face from Him; But when He cried to Him, He heard. My praise shall be of You in the great assembly” (Psalm 22:23-25).
Our Moments – His Movie
The New Testament also offers encouragement for those caught in a painful and confusing moment. Allow me to paraphrase some familiar verses for your encouragement.
When you fall into various trials, you can consider it all joy – knowing that your sovereign and caring Movie Maker is allowing this test in order to produce endurance. In the midst of your difficult scene, cry out in faith for His wisdom to persevere, and He will give it generously (James 1:2-6).
When you face spiritual failure and confusion, hold to the truth that the Movie Maker is faithful. He has called you into fellowship with Himself through Jesus, and will keep you strong until the end of the movie and present you blameless in His presence when it is over (I Corinthians 1:8-9).
When you are tempted, overwhelmed, and despondent, cling to the faithfulness of the Movie Maker, who will give you strength to bear up under the burden and bring you out of it by His enabling grace (1 Corinthians 10:13).
When you waver and lose your confidence, the Movie Maker will give you endurance to do His will and will reward you according to His faithful promises (Hebrews 10:35-36).
Embracing the Greater Reality
Today, you may be in the midst of a horrible scene in connection with your health, your job, your finances, your marriage, your family, or even your internal thoughts and emotions. The scene is real. The struggle is genuine. Yet, the greater reality is that the movie is not over yet. Above the storyline of your journey is a divine Movie Maker, and He can be trusted.
Copyright © 2013 Daniel Henderson. All rights reserved.