Sunday, February 11, 2007

Facing the Giants

“That was a great movie about God and football,” my five-year old son commented after seeing the film, “Facing the Giants” at our church. “God gave everybody what they wanted in the end,” he continued, “it was a happy movie, wasn’t it Mom?”

I have to admit, I didn’t have high hopes for “Facing the Giants.” When our church announced plans to show this movie for free as an outreach to the community, I was skeptical. Would it really attract that many people? As a pinch-hit volunteer in the four and five year old Sunday school class, the answer is a resounding, “YES.” We had eight visiting four-year old boys, and the movie isn’t even geared toward preschoolers.

Sadly, I don’t expect much from Christian movies, so I was surprised to find that it wasn’t completely hokey. It even had moments of genuine humor. But Twin B pretty much summed it up in the above exchange, and he’s only five.

The theme “nothing is impossible with God” really shines through. A young couple choosing to trust God in difficult circumstances sees God work miracles. Wonderful. The downside? It was a little bit like reading a Christian romance novel: you know exactly how it will end as soon as it starts.

Am I just cynical? I believe God can do the impossible. But I also know that life is messy and new trucks from God rarely show up in any of our driveways, even if we really, really need a new truck.

I’m reminded of a friend who, years ago, was on bedrest in the hospital with twins, one of whom was not expected to live due to a severe birth defect. One night I was so grieved for my friend, I prayed until early morning for God to do the impossible. I didn’t pray a polite, “God, comfort my friend” prayer. I anguished for her and cried out for the impossible—for both of her babies to live. Not long after, her daughter was born, lived a few hours, and died in her arms. Is God still good? Of course He is. But there is no simple answer to life’s most troubling concerns, and while miracles are awesome, they don’t often come, even when we have great faith.

I wish this movie had ended without every problem being wrapped up into a tidy package. Maybe they lose the baby they prayed so long for; maybe they adopt a special needs child; maybe their car dies and they both walk a long way to go to work. But this was not a film about “God’s plans are not always our plans,” this was a movie about, “Nothing is impossible with God.”

In any case, eight four-year olds I have never met before heard the story of the Good Shepherd, who cares so much about each of His sheep, He leaves the 99 to go after just one. Many seeds of faith were planted today, and for that, I am thankful.

6 comments:

andre said...

I've heard good things about the movie but I also know that life doesn't wrap up nicely in 2 hours, like it does in many movies.

However, in Christ, the "movies of our lives" will have a happy ending...just not in two hours. Like any good movie, we may have to go through some significant times of difficulty and trial.

Grace to you

Susan Kelly Skitt said...

I haven't seen the movie yet, but have read some mixed reviews. I agree with the thought that God doesn't always allow our lives to wrap up in a nice neat package. Sometimes we can become disillusioned if we think that way. After my first husband died at the age of twenty-eight, I struggled for a time. I thought, "I trust you God. But it hurts that you didn't answer my prayer to protect my husband." God's been teaching me how He protects those who trust Jesus as Savior. It doesn't mean we will never get hurt or sick or go through hard times. (John 16:33) But it does mean that God promises to be with us in life and death. He promises to hold us in His hand and never let go. (John 10:28) He will be with us and lead us in the way we should go. (Deut. 31:8) Praise God, He gives us peace!
Blessings,
Susan
CWO Blog Ring - 1 Amazing Adventure

P.S. I don't like laundry duty either:) I have two boys but it feels like I'm washing for fifteen!

Charity Singleton said...

Oh, this was such a great post. I do struggle with the wrapping things up neatly even as I tell my own stories. I am realizing that sometimes when I tell about what God is doing in my life, it's almost as if I'm making a guarantee about how God always works -- especially when I am talking with people who don't believe in Jesus. But then, as I read the Bible, I realize that the truth about God and life is not totally captured in any one verse or chapter. The WHOLE story is much bigger than that. This movie (and any one event in my life) seems to have captured a slice of what life can be life, but it will take many more movies (and life experiences) before we can see the whole pie.

clc said...

i love your post charity. it brings up a good point about the pressure we feel to make things look good, tidy, and all wrapped up. but i think people can sniff that out quick. and it can be a turn off. i saw joel osteen and his wife on larry king live the other night and i could vomit how she never admitted having any kind of problems or any challenges in her life or marriage. i thought, "who can relate to this?"

i love that matt redman song, "Blessed be the name of the Lord" which takes some verses from Job and says basically that god is not good because of how good my circumstances are but because of who he is.

but because he is faithful "i am still confident of this: i will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living." (psalm 27:13)

Llama Momma said...

Great discussion.

Andre - Yes, ultimately the ending WILL be happy. This is why we can be hopeful in the midst of this life!!

Susan - Thanks for visiting. It sounds like you've had your share of trials. I appreciate your honesty and your faith.

Charity - I like the way you say this, and you're right -- we WANT our stories to end happily; to have meaning. Sometimes God teaches us the most when we just acknowledge that He's with us in the messy places. (I'm thinking of your post. I've been thinking about it all morning, since I'm cleaning house!)

CLC - Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I want to be a "relatable" person. Very few people can relate to someone who seems "perfect." Fortunately for me, I don't have to work too hard at this!! (She says as she scrapes dried up applesauce off the kitchen counter...)

Fireproof the Movie said...

Hi there,

My name is Monique & I'm part of the PR team for Sherwood Pictures--creators of FACING THE GIANTS.
Thank you so much for supporting the movie on your blog! We wanted to keep you informed of their latest project--FIREPROOF.
It's due to hit theaters this September in theaters nationwide. You can go to www.fireproofthemovie.com to view the trailer, ready the synopsis, and sign up for updates to stay up to date with all of the FIREPROOF happenings! If you're interested in learning more or need any resource, pictures, and downloads for your blog please email me at monique@lovell-fairchild.com and I will be happy to get you what you need.

Again, thanks for blogging!
Monique
Lovell-Fairchild Communications