The Show Must Go On

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Yes, I’ve seen The Greatest Showman four times….so far. Don’t “movie shame” me people.  It’s probably my favorite movie of all time.  It’s a story about PT Barnum and his circus. It’s a great movie with God’s character and desires woven through the whole thing. Some things that stuck out to me I’m going to bring to the surface in this article.

PT is very much a dreamer and dreams of the impossible which I absolutely believe we could benefit by doing more often. I believe the One who created this wonderful world we live in has to be quite the Dreamer Himself, don’t you think? PT lives in a world without limits. He steadily turns what would look like defeat into opportunities used for his advantage and blessing. He does not leave room for discouragement in his life. He turns his critics words into cheers to rally him onward. We all need a little more of that kind of tenacity don’t we? I believe that PT’s character in this movie represented the Father’s heart quite well throughout the whole movie. The only way it didn’t was that PT was a bit of a exaggerator and left out facts when it came what he felt he had to do and say to see his dream come alive. God never lies or exaggerates.

What I absolutely love is the way he gathers the unlikely and those who are hidden due to the physical “defects” they were born with. PT sees these things as what makes them unique and what makes each of them beautiful. He saw them as something to celebrate and spotlight. Oh, how that carries the Father’s heart to see every one of our faces and hear every one of our voices. This group came out of the shadows and formed a family who learned to celebrate themselves and each other. I think we need more celebrating of our differences in our cities, towns, and churches.

The high class people of the city (the religious/pharisees) as well as some of the common townspeople (the world) wanted the circus out of their town and called the people in the show “freaks”.  They were both condescending and heartless. Meanwhile the people involved in the circus were filled with joy, acceptance, and a sense of family for the first time in their lives.

My favorite scene in the whole movie is where PT is trying to convince a young socialite, Philip, to join his team.  This is not an easy task as Philip is quite comfortable with his high class but boring life and thinks it would cost him too much as far as his reputation is concerned. They are sitting in a bar and I can almost hear the whole conversation going down as being between the Holy Spirit and someone stuck in religiosity. They are taking shots (new wine) and singing and dancing the whole time. I love hearing PT offering Philip that he will have joy and laughter and will find a life worth living if he accepts his offer. He takes PT up on his offer and never looks back.

Through the movie PT is accused of selling that which is fake because of his reputation for exaggerating the facts to get more people in to the shows. So PT goes on a search for something he thinks is real and starts to pursue the high class life with it’s priorities that Philip had just left without regret, only to find that what was real was right in front of him the whole time. The things the world was rejecting as “fake” was real the whole time. The fruit was real. It was the laughter and joy and an abundance of love in this family of “outcasts” that was real and lasting.

I believe the church that God is building looks a bit more like that circus than the angry judgmental villagers who were picketing outside the building. I believe God truly likes how He made us with our quirks and oddities, I believe we make Him smile when He looks at us. I believe if we would be more honest about ourselves we would find we all have those areas we have tried to hide. What happens if we create a safe place for people to dare to be honest about those things? What if we truly reached out in love to those branded unlovable? I believe it would be wonderful. I believe it would be spectacular. I believe we would end up seeing God as the GREATEST SHOWMAN OF ALL TIME!  I believe that’s His heart. I believe He would do amazing things… in fact…I BELIEVE HE WILL!

When you are walking hand in hand with the Greatest Showman of ALL TIME, He’s gonna show you things. It will be magnificent!

 

 

Time to Rest in Peace

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The thing I’ve seen cause the biggest faith crisis in people’s lives are in people who are still debating the goodness of God. They tend to believe that if they are happy then God is good and if they aren’t, God is bad, or distracted, or just simply doesn’t care. I have found that these are the same people, who when they walk away from God, it’s because they prayed for something and it didn’t happen. In may cases they thought He had told them how something would play out and it didn’t happen in that exact way.

I can’t tell you how many young adults I’ve run across who thought that God told them to marry a certain person and it didn’t happen and in most cases, it’s a really good thing it didn’t happen. Our own desires are really good at masquerading as God’s voice.

It’s actually kind of a flip on the Adam and Eve story in the bible where satan came and questioned “did God really say?” only this question is “Didn’t God tell you it would go differently?” BOTH questions are meant to make us question God’s goodness and whether His intentions for us are for good. They are devised to cause distance to form between us and God.

The truth is that God is a good father who will not allow things to happen that will ruin us if we are surrendered to Him…no matter how badly we want them. He sees the big picture that we simply cannot see with our human eyes. He is very much a father who will risk hurting your arm to yank you off the road so you don’t get hit by a car. We are very much like children wanting to play in the road sometimes. We need someone looking out for us who will see the big picture and not just the ball we are chasing after. Trust that when He says no there is good reason for it.

He will also allow things in our lives that will build our character and make us stronger. These things are usually situations we would walk away from if we could. They are the situations where we can’t see any way to do it or get through it without leaning on His strength. If we naively try to do it in our own strength chances are we will fail and then blame God for not making it a success. That’s another point for the enemy. Father God will carry you through things you never thought you would survive. Trust that He will carry you where your own strength can’t take you.

I sense He is wanting to settle this question in many right here and right now in many people’s lives. Is God good? Can He be trusted? Who is alive? Is it you, or Christ in you? Have you FULLY surrendered your life to His care? Have you died to self (your ways of thinking and feeling)? We are to have His eyes, His ears, His thoughts, His emotions, His heart, and His will for our life. Whose glory are you after… yours? or His? He wants you dead, for your own goodso He can live in and through you. He knows when you die you will REST IN HIS PEACE, His plans, His way. His dreams become our dreams. Don’t worry, His dreams for us far exceed anything we could want for ourselves.

He is looking for a resolve that says ….I’m sorry Father God for holding back areas of my life from you. I’m giving you all of me today...no matter what comes, I’m Yours and You are good and You love me more than I can understand. I lay my life down and say it’s Yours. ALL of it.  I trust You in the unanswered questions, and with all the things I don’t understand, with all my loved ones who are going on journeys I don’t understand. I believe that You work all things together for my good and I trust You with all my heart. Today I choose to rest in Your peace…in Jesus’s name.

Galatians 2:19-20-  For I through the law died to the law that I might live to God.  I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. 

Isaiah 26:3- You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.

Thank Me

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I heard the Lord say “thank Me” as soon as I woke up. So I said “Thank You… Is this for something specific Lord?” and He said “you have no idea what I am about to bless you with.” I definitely sensed it was said in an expectant parent “I know something you don’t know” kind of way.

Get excited even when you see no reason to be! Even when your heart is breaking! Even in the midst of the “why’s?” of this life. He is still Lord, He is still the Victor on the throne, and He is still working ALL things together for our good!

 He is actively putting things in place in order to bless all His kids. It’s what He does! Even when we can’t see what He’s doing. Thank Him today for who He is and for what you can’t see!

Trust Him, thank Him, and praise Him in the in-between moments. He is great and worthy to be praised! There is so much more is going on than we can imagine!