I’m thrilled to announce that I officially have my Master’s from Seminary! It was a tough journey, but I made it, but not without the support and prayers of great friends, a great church, and a great family.
I was a part of another play. This time it was C. S. Lewis’ The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, a classic tale and battle between good and evil.
If you’re not familiar with the story, here’s a crash course:
The four Pevensie children stumble upon a wardrobe in the professor’s house that leads to the land of Narnia. They encounter creatures of every sort such as talking beavers, fauns, and werewolves. They meet the great lion Aslan and the terrible White Witch who makes it always winter in Narnia, but never Christmas. A large battle eventually ensues and Aslan is victorious.
I was going to talk about my role in this production as the Centaur, but there is a situation that happened that I want to bring to attention.
We performed this show outdoors for one weekend, so we prayed and prayed for good weather. We only got rained out for one practice. Everything was going according to plan, even with one day predicting a forecast of rain, but it didn’t arrive. The final performance was the “problem.” While we were setting up, we heard thunder and saw clouds starting to roll in. The rain came despite our prayers. Those who were waiting had to return to their vehicles until the rain let up.
We waited in the Green Room for a while hoping for the rain to stop, but it showed no sign in breaking. We decided to move the show to a small, quaint chapel on the end of the property. We braved the rain and moved our props and costumes there.
More “problems” arose.
- The chapel was small and could only fit a fraction of the intended audience. Some people ended up leaving because there was no room.
- The “stage” of the chapel was probably 1/8 of the space of our original stage.
- There was no air conditioning in the chapel. It was stuffy and hot.
- Due to the small space, we had to work with minimal props and some of the scene details were cut.
I’m going to get a little transparent with you guys. I did not think it was going to work. How could we put on this show with these sudden changes and uncertainties? What was God thinking? Why would He allow this? Why didn’t He answer our (my) prayers (the funny part was that it stopped raining as we started the show. It didn’t rain for the rest of the evening).
But guess what? The show was a success!
God revealed to me another piece of my heart, the part that likes to blame God whenever an inconvenience comes my way, usually stemming from moments when a plan I’m involved in suddenly explodes and falls flat in front of my face.
But what if a prayer goes unanswered or what if He said “No” because He has a bigger plan in mind?
See, as God’s children, we are to grow and walk in love as we imitate the Father (Eph. 5:1). God grows, disciplines, and shapes us into His image as we go through the continuous process of holiness; sometimes meaning that He says “No” to the things we want. Yeah, it hurts in the current moment, but think of the everlasting joy that happens as a result!
The shake-up on the final performance brought out people’s gifts and talents; others may have seen or used their gift or talent for the first time. The Stage Manager and her assistant formulated a plan and prop list for the limited stage. The Director helped guide us to what we needed to do. Fellow cast members pulled together to improvise and change up fight and dance choreography.
This happened all while I was freaking out. That was convicting, yet encouraging.
Take this lesson from me, friends. When you are inconvenienced or when God says no to your prayer, don’t blame or run from Him. Instead, take a look around and ask God to be glorified in and through you and the people with you. Ask Him to reveal your heart to you and watch as He opens your eyes to what He is doing in your life and in the lives of others.
Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen — Ephesians 3:20-21 (emphasis mine)
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose. — Romans 8:28
Until next time, remain hidden in the shadow of His wings and long live the true King!
— Jon Pannell