Wisdom from Mr. Beaver

One of my favorite quotes from C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia is when Lucy discovers that Aslan is a lion.  She nervously asks Mr. and Mrs. Beaver if he is safe.  Mr. Beaver responds: “Safe? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe.  But he’s good.  He’s the King, I tell you.”

Re-reading this bit of dialogue sparked something in my heart.  I thought of how Noah faced a flood that would wipe out his whole world, how David stood up to a giant.  There’s Job, a righteous man who lost everything but his life.  Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego entered a furnace of flames because they would not compromise their faith.  Daniel spent the night with hungry lions. Abraham raised the knife over his promised son.

Lewis spoke truth here, through the mouth of Mr. Beaver.

Following the King isn’t always safe.  The path of faith isn’t easy.

But! He is good ~ He is love ~ and we can trust Him.

Didn’t He sustain the family that would trust Him, even as the rain poured down?  Didn’t a Hand mightier than David’s guide a stone to take down the giant?  Weren’t there four men walking around where there had only been three?  Didn’t Daniel call out to the King, “My God has sent His angel, and He shut the mouths of the lions!”  Wasn’t everything restored to Job, twice over? And didn’t He stay Abraham’s hand, providing the sacrifice He required?

What He allows always has purpose, whether or not we see it right away… even if He leads us through fire and rain, floods and droughts.  Even if we face our fears, bear persecution.  In this way, we will be molded and refined into a people peculiar and holy unto Him ~ and don’t we count it as joy, to be set apart for His purpose?  To be made more like Him?

In time of trial, we see His faithfulness.  We remember how we need Him.  We watch Him astonish with His power and His provision.  His transformations from ashes to beauty leave us humble and awed.  Even in the very moment of trouble, we can be still and know that He is God… because He does not leave us to face anything on our own.  There is peace, there is joy, and there is comfort… even when it looks like we should be falling apart, we are not.  He holds us together.

Because of His goodness, we are not alone even in facing the consequences of our sin.  For the second and final time… didn’t He provide the Sacrifice?  Didn’t He Himself enter the world, knowing that He would suffer with us?

When King Nebuchadnezzar saw that fourth man when he had just thrown three Hebrew men into the furnace, He said this: “I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God!”

The word I’m feeling here is hallelujah!

He was in the fire with Shadrach Meshach, and Abednego.  He is in every furnace-fire of trouble now.

From age to age, He is Emmanuel, Almighty God with us!  And because He was the Sacrifice for our hearts, Jesus knows our pain.  He knows the fear.  He understands the weakness, the frustration, and the heat of the battle.

While he lived on earth, anticipating death, Jesus cried out in pain and wept in sorrow as he offered up priestly prayers to God. Because he honored God, God answered him. Though he was God’s Son, he learned trusting-obedience by what he suffered, just as we do. Then, having arrived at the full stature of his maturity and having been announced by God as high priest in the order of Melchizedek, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who believingly obey him.” (Hebrews 5:7-10, the MSG)

He didn’t choose the easy path.  Instead, He learned intimately the meaning of anguish ~ and He took on our sin so that His Spirit could be within us as we press on through this life to eternity.  He becomes our very life.  He becomes our strength in every moment of weakness.

Are you in the middle of a mess right now? Will you surrender it to the Father and hope in Him…wait, trusting His goodness…glorifying Him…knowing He is with you…expecting Him to do what is best?

The words of Paul, as usual, say it best: (The Message, from 2 Corinthians 4)

God has so generously let us in on what he is doing, we’re not about to throw up our hands and walk off the job just because we run into occasional hard times.  We refuse to wear masks and play games.  We don’t maneuver and manipulate behind the scenes.  And we don’t twist God’s Word to suit ourselves.  Rather, we keep everything we do and say out in the open, the whole truth on display, so that those who want to can see and judge for themselves in the presence of God…

Remember, our Message is not about ourselves; we’re proclaiming Jesus Christ, the Master.  All we are is messengers, errand runners from Jesus for you.  It started when God said, “Light up the darkness!” and our lives filled up with light as we saw and understood God in the face of Christ, all bright and beautiful.

If you only look at us, you might well miss the brightness. We carry this precious Message around in the unadorned clay pots of our ordinary lives. That’s to prevent anyone from confusing God’s incomparable power with us. As it is, there’s not much chance of that. You know for yourselves that we’re not much to look at. We’ve been surrounded and battered by troubles, but we’re not demoralized; we’re not sure what to do, but we know that God knows what to do; we’ve been spiritually terrorized, but God hasn’t left our side; we’ve been thrown down, but we haven’t broken. What they did to Jesus, they do to us—trial and torture, mockery and murder; what Jesus did among them, he does in us—he lives! Our lives are at constant risk for Jesus’ sake, which makes Jesus’ life all the more evident in us. While we’re going through the worst, you’re getting in on the best!We’re not keeping this quiet, not on your life. Just like the psalmist who wrote, “I believed it, so I said it,” we say what we believe. And what we believe is that the One who raised up the Master Jesus will just as certainly raise us up with you, alive. Every detail works to your advantage and to God’s glory: more and more grace, more and more people, more and more praise!

So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever!

Amen and amen!
{I would love to hear your testimony of how God has been with you in your hard times… please share with us in the comments!}

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