My favorite books and movies involve epic battles between the forces of good and evil. They pit the worst case scenario against things that seemingly have no real-world power. Things like love, friendship, honesty, and sacrifice. Things that from outward appearances hold no weight against weapons, money, strength, numbers, or power.
One of my favorite scenes in LOTR happens at the battle of Helms Deep. The greatest evil ever known by this fictional land has erupted, and grown to a point where it is literally unstoppable. The people of the land have taken refuge in a place called Helms Deep, and they are confident that they will be able to defend it.
But they aren’t able to.
Evil arrives in such great numbers- in such a vast army- that they are helpless. Defeat is inevitable. They are all going to die. The main characters decide to die fighting and they ride out into this vast army- a tiny spot of hope in the vast blackness of evil.
But then… (this is my favorite part)
Gandalf arrives with the break of day- he rides over the edge of a ridge followed by an army much greater than the evil. He arrives with blinding light that renders the army of darkness useless.
And suddenly there is hope. The battle is easily won. Good conquers evil in the face of insurmountable odds.
There’s a song by Mercy Me that reminds me of this scene every time I hear it. It’s called Flawless, and one part of the song describes Christ in this way:
“Then like a hero who takes the stage when we’re on the edge of our seats saying ‘It’s too late’- well let me introduce you to amazing grace”
Because that is, in fact, what Christ did. In an epic story (the most incredible story I’ve ever read) the greatest evil, and the darkest dark is defeated by a man who laid his life down for mankind. The son of God died a horrible, horrible death and was buried. And it looked like the dark had won. Evil had been victorious. Plenty of people said, “It’s too late. The story is over.”
But then…(again, my favorite part)
A pair of eyes opened. What was once thought lost was reborn in life. A savior walked out of his tomb in the early morning light and astonished the women who had come to tend to him. Love conquered death. Good conquered evil. Light overcame the dark.
But the best part? This wasn’t just a story. It didn’t take place in Middle Earth or Narnia. It actually happened. And it changed everything on this planet- for every single person- including you.
I have a hard time living day-to-day with this realization because it literally takes my breath away. Yesterday at church we sang the words, “You’re a good, good Father- it’s who you are… and I’m loved by You- it’s who I am.” (Chris Tomlin)
I felt my identity click into place. Because I am a part of this epic story- and so are you. We are loved by the one who gave his life away. In fact, we are the reason he did it. When the armies of darkness were so thick around us that we couldn’t even see, he stepped on the stage of time- the hero of all heroes- and rescued us. I am, more than any other part of my identity, a girl who is loved by Him. A girl who has been undeservedly rescued by Him.
I have friends who went to New Zealand to see where the LOTR movies were made- they took a tour of the various sites where parts of the movies were filmed. They talked about how amazing it was to walk the land where the movie was created.
Josiah Venture is sending all of it’s single missionaries on a retreat (our 1st one ever!) to Israel. I leave tomorrow. The Bible is my very favorite story, and to see the land in which this story took place is something I thought I’d never have the opportunity to do. A friend asked me yesterday how I was feeling about the trip coming up so soon. I told her I was having a hard time putting it into words.
It takes my breath away. To visit, not a movie set, but the place where the One who rescued us for all eternity walked and taught and died and resurrected.
Please pray for our group this week. We will be led, as we travel, through the book of Luke; searching for truths about Jesus in ministry and discipleship.
- Pray that our hearts would be open to learning and growing in the uniquely single lives God has granted each of us.
- Pray that this would be a time of refreshment, growth, strengthening and encouragement- especially for these missionaries living far from home so that young lives in Eastern and Central Europe can be reached with this very story of God’s great love.
- Pray for safety and health for our entire group
Thank you dear friends!!!!!