I think my all time favorite movie when I was a kid had to be “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”. I would watch Dorothy, Toto, and their friends travel the Yellow Brick
Road in search of Emerald City and the Great Wizard. I remember tuning out the world and feel as though I were with them and experiencing all their adventures as they did. For weeks afterward I would walk around the house singing (or at least trying to) sing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”. Believe me my family were glad when I quit singing.
Anyway, you can imagine my excitement when I had a chance to watch this movie with my grandchildren. I wanted them to have the opportunity to see a wonderful movie and hoped they would like it as much as I do. We decided to make it a movie night with popcorn, sleeping bags, and all the junk food we could eat. As the opening music began we settled down with our bowls of popcorn for a wonder filled night.
Soon, however , I began to hear that still small voice begin to speak to me. I knew the voice was my Heavenly Father but I was totally unprepared for what He had to say to me.
“Do you see that the adventures Dorothy and her friends have are like the doubts and fears that can rob you of your peace and joy? Fears and doubts sneak in when you least expect them and take control of your life.”
When I heard this, I began to see that I was letting these fears and doubts haunt me every day. When I am thinking that all is well and my life could not be any better, the old doubts and insecurities begin to creep into my mind and fears sneak in to send my world spinning out of control.
Like Dorothy I long for love and security. Too often I have looked for these in wrong places and with wrong people. I have even counted on filling the hole in my heart through obtaining more and more material possessions. Instead of giving me a sense of security, I found I had created more stress and problems by having more financial difficulties. These difficulties in turn created more stress and offers no security.
The Lion was looking for courage which he already possessed and proved during their travels to Oz. Although I have shown courage when faced with some situations, I find myself cowering in fear all too often. When my life overwhelms me and seems to spin out of control, I am frozen in fear and try to hide from life.
The Tin Man wants a heart in order to show emotion. Sometimes I feel as though my heart is missing when my problems seem to take over my life. I find myself focusing on me and my problems instead of looking around me and seeing the pain of other people. When I do focus on others, I often find their problems are much bigger and more serious than mine. I then remember that I am put on this earth to help and encourage others. I am commanded to come alongside others and help them in their times of troubles. When I do this I find my heart is there and beating strong.
Yes, I even find a part of me when I see the Scarecrow. Remember,. he was looking for a brain. When I want to take my life back into my own hands and do not trust God, I find my brain does not want to work. Instead of telling me to listen to God, it is telling me not to listen to God. It is telling me, “You don’t need help. You are in control of your life and can handle it on your own terms.
Too often I have trusted the “Great Oz”. He offers a false sense of security. He tells me he can get me home where I can find the love and security I seek. He leads me to believe he can give me courage to face my trials, a heart to show compassion, and a brain that will solve all my problems. But what he is telling me are lies….lies that are meant to take my eyes off my Father who can offer me these things.
I have learned through many hard lessons that only with God can I live a life of peace and joy. God is the life giver and sustainer of life and security. I will have doubts and fears and suffer from insecurity but He will always be by my side to see me through the troublers I face. I will not have smooth sailing every day but He will never let me down. Sometimes He will calm the storm, but often He will calm me so I can make it through the storm. Although I will feel insecure and unloved, lack courage, lose my heart for compassion, or my brain is sending me wrong signals, I know He is there giving me His messages of love and peace. I know that even when I feel like Dorothy looking for security and a way home, I know He loves me and He gives me the greatest security that I will ever know.
After the movie ended, I looked over at the kids. They were all sound asleep but I knew I would never look at this movie the same way again. A childhood favorite has now become a daily reminder that God’s love can be seen in day to day life. I might let God down but He will never let me down. How encouraging is that?