In the movie Prince Caspian, one of my (Becky) favorite scenes is a conversation between Lucy and Aslan. If you are not familiar with the movie, based on the book by C.S. Lewis, it is a beautiful analogy of spiritual things. Aslan (a gentle yet powerful lion) represents Jesus; Lucy, her sister, and brothers represent the humanity in which He came to save.
The siblings are traipsing through the woods trying to find a way to the other side, across the river. They come to the ravine and find that the way that was there to cross is gone. As they argue about what to do, Lucy sees Aslan on the other side. She tells the others but they don’t believe her. None of them saw Aslan for themselves. She tells them, “I’m not crazy! He was there and he wanted us to follow him!” They still don’t believe her and they (Lucy included) turn in search for another route.
It turns out that the only way to the other side is to cross the ravine. There is no easy way across, no road or bridge. This path requires faith. This path can only be seen one step at a time. To me, “the other side” is figurative for wherever God is calling us in our spiritual journey. It may be a calling to experience salvation or to go deeper in prayer or another area of our spiritual life; it may be to trust Him during a trial, or maybe to surrender to Him an area of your life where you are holding on too tightly. Wherever we are, there is always “the other side” where Christ is calling us to be and calling us to go. And on our way there, there are going to be ravines, valleys, mountains and rivers to cross.
I love Isaiah 43. Verse 2 says, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.” I don’t know how many times I read that passage before the word “when” struck me. Not “if” but “when you pass through the waters.” We will pass through the waters in this lifetime. We will walk through the fire. And there is no easy way across. The easy way does not grow our faith. The easy way does not grow us into who God desires for us to be.
Consider it pure joy, my [sisters], whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4
Now here’s my favorite part (after they get to the other side):
Lucy hugs Aslan and says, “I knew it was you! The whole time I knew it! But the others didn’t believe me.”
Aslan replied, “And why would that stop you from coming to me?”
Jesus is always calling us to the other side. Wherever we are in our spiritual journey, He is calling us to go deeper. He is calling us to follow Him, even if those closest to us choose another path. And, maybe, it is someplace that we to go alone. Do not be afraid; remember Isaiah 43:2, He will be with you!