Ten years late, hehe.
Watching Avatar put me in a headspace that I don't find myself in after a movie: simply happy.
Not deeply joyful, or intensely moved. Just a simple kind of happy.
Usually, my thoughts go a mile a minute, and I am either horribly indifferent, immensely fired up, or extremely elated.
But since the credits began to roll, the slight smile on my face has stayed in place.
I don't find myself mad that the bossy "Sky People" ignored all the history lessons that ever existed and tried to colonize the Na'vi people.
I don't find myself deeply moved by the deaths or the romance or the psycho-biological connection the Na'vi people have to their land.
I am just happy that good trumped bad. The guy got the girl. The bad people were sent out, and...
everyone lived happily ever after.
Of course, this remains to be seen as the sequels head to theaters soon.
But till then, I am very content with this simple-kind-of-happy.
There is a thing to be said about confidence.
Really, one of the coolest aspects of growing up (for me) is that my confidence has been forced to grow up as well.
I used to be terrified to have questions about Christianity, about the Lord, about the Bible.
I was scared I would unearth something that would change my faith, change my understanding, change me.
I was scared because I was afraid that one of the answers I sought would make Him untrue.
I should have known that when fear is the major driver, the Lord is probably not in it.
I remember asking an older person, as a kid, who gave birth to God. I don't remember the answer I was given, but I remember feeling that I should not have asked that question.
I remember feeling listless and unsatisfied with the thought that going to heaven meant we will be singing in choir forever and ever. I could barely stand 4 hours in church, talk less of eternity!
But I remember never questioning.
The problem with never questioning is that there is only one outcome: ignorance.
The thing is God does not do ignorance. He said that we perish when we don't know. (Hosea 4:6)
I would never, ever, ever, ever, in a million years, be where I am today if I did not question. If I just buried the contrary way I was feeling and let it go.
Don't get me wrong. There are still many things I don't understand yet, but I trust that God will explain it to me - either here on earth or when I see Him and bug Him with questions.
" The problem with never questioning is that there is only one outcome: ignorance.
This past Saturday, I was reading Romans 9.
Verse 18 says: "So you see, God chooses to show mercy to some, and he chooses to harden the hearts of others so they refuse to listen."
Well darn, I thought.
How am I supposed to explain this, Lord?
How do I counter a self-assured Twitter user who uses this verse to oppose Your goodness? How does this verse correlate with Your goodness?
Wanna know what He said, read Part 2!
Okay. I officially call it.
It is the most debilitating of all emotion-thought-feelings.
It takes you from logical, faith-full human to .... (insert your worst head-state scenario here).
I was teaching the children class at my church a few Sundays ago and we were discussing the story of Creation and how amazing everything was before we sinned.
The Lord helped us to understand that He did not create us with fear or shame (we can talk about shame on another day).
Case in point, when the Lord was bringing the animals for Adam to name - do you think He brought the lions and tigers and dinosaurs(!) in a cage or with a leash around their neck? (Genesis 2:19)
That would be a solid no.
Even more, do you think the animals we consider ferocious today were tied to trees or walking freely around the garden? (Genesis 3:1)
Fear was non-existent! Adam and Eve had zero reason to fear because they knew God was right there.
They had no reason to fear anyone's intentions - because they had no concept of evil.
Fear comes from knowing evil.
You are only afraid your children will be kidnapped, because you know children get kidnapped.
You are only afraid you will lose your job because you know people get fired..
Catch my drift, here?
Well, guess what you guys, we are no longer in the Garden of Eden - physically at least. (Shocker!)
But spiritually, we have been returned to that state of oneness, relationship and trust with God.
We don't have to fear - we have zero reason to fear - because we know that God is right there.
Sadly, I don't think we can do anything about the knowing evil part. Our ancestors ingested that fruit (I hope it went down well, Adam! 🙄)
Maybe we can - I don't know.
My point though is that we can choose, today, not to live in fear!
Who's with me with God?!
Many are the fears of a man, but the Lord invalidates them all.
When terrible things happen, probably one of the hardest things to do is to accept it.
They say the first stage of grief is denial. They are right. Because acceptance makes that situation real; it's no longer a bad dream that you can wake up from and find that everything is okay.
They say this because the quicker you accept, the quicker you can begin to heal.
But God is asking us for more than just acceptance. He is asking us to trust Him.
If you genuinely prayed, and you begged God and yet it happened, or didn't happen as the case may be, then you have to trust that He knows what He is doing.
You have to trust that what He is doing is for your sake.
You have to trust that what He is doing is for your good.
And I know it hurts because I have been there. Heck, I am still there. And I will probably always be as long as my wants differ from His.
But I am cool with that because I know that what He wants is my good. What He wants is for me to be happy and fulfilled and satisfied.
That's what makes Him happy and gives Him glory, like any good parent.
Here's where you make a decision. Choose to trust. Choose to accept and I promise that you will feel better. The peace that surpasses understanding will appear, and you will be fine.
Philippians 4:7, Psalm 16:2, Psalm 138:8, Psalm 138:3