I just went to see the new 3-D version of The Polar Express. What an experience! I hadn't seen the ordinary version and now I'm spoiled for it forever. I couldn't bear to watch it again without experiencing the sensation of snowflakes falling all around me or the train skidding to a stop just short of my nose.
At the end of the movie, the little boy has a moment of crisis when he cannot hear Santa's sleigh bells. All the other children hear them, but he does not, until finally, in a moment of surrender and willing suspension of his disbelief, he says to himself, "I believe!" From that point on, the sleigh bells ring loud and clear for him, and as the movie ends we hear him saying that as the other children grew up they gradually stopped hearing the bells, but he never did.
Like the boy in the movie, not everyone is able to hear the message of hope and healing that God offers. 1 Corinthians 1:18 says: "For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God." Some people may stumble across this blog--or hopefully, later, my book--and find not a shred of hope in it, while others, I trust, will find a wholeness they never thought possible. What makes the difference? The difference lies in whether or not they are on board with God's plan. It's the difference that makes God's truth seem either ridiculous or profound to us.
How this all works--how the bells begin to ring bright and clear--is a profound mystery to me. Somehow the will of the sovreign God intersects our own wills and the prayers of others, and the soul's ears are opened to the beauty of God's message, His wondrous hope and overflowing grace. It is in the context of this Bermuda Triangle of belief that God heals our wounded souls.
If you're struggling to hear the bells of God's mercy, get in the middle of others who hear and work to surrender your disbelief. If you're struggling to make someone hear, remember that you can't heal the deaf--only God can do that; pray for them and let them see your joy when the bells ring in your life. If none of this makes sense to you and you want to know more, email me and let's chat about it!