by Lygia Lovelace
Elijah has an odd way
of watching movies.
He is our seventh child, and
I've never seen another Lovelace do this. Perhaps you have
a child who actually "lives" what he is watching?
Because he literally places himself within the four-walled
screen of not-real life, we have to carefully guard what
Not too long ago, we watched
The Pagemaster. It is a popular movie for my children.
We love the children's book, and since it is a story ABOUT
books, we especially love the theme.
Elijah watched just a few moments
of it, in silence. Muttering to himself, he stood up.
"I don't want to be in
this movie…it's too scary!"
And he walked out.
You see, to most people, a
movie is just a movie.
But it's serious to Elijah.
It's real to him. He lives it.
If the people in the movie
are running, Elijah runs. If they are driving in a car,
he pretends to drive. If they fall down, Elijah will throw
himself to the floor. If they are fighting a battle, Elijah
will fight as well!
We were in a theater several
years ago, watching the movie Prince Caspian -- from
The Chronicles of Narnia series. During the intense
battle scene toward the end of the movie, Elijah became
so full of passion as he saw himself fighting beside Peter
and Edmond, and Caspian, that he stood up with both arms
raised and yelled at the top of his lungs,
"FOR NARNIAAAAAA AND THE
NORTH!! FOR ASLAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
An entire row of Lovelace's
jumped, startled. A few chuckles sounded from the seats
around us. I did my best to calm him.
"Elijah, honey, it's just
a movie. SHHH…we don't want to disturb anyone."
He never even heard me! He
was too busy using his invisible sword, fighting on the
side of good, against evil…fighting for the right, the pure.
Fighting for Narnia!
Well, the movie was quite an
adventure, for all of us!
But in all the strangeness
of Elijah's habit, God has taught me something about truly
living His Word.
As I read about Moses' life,
and Hannah's and Mary's, I have learned to ponder, and dwell
upon, their emotions. Have you ever done an "emotion
study" of the people of the Bible? I have, and as I
have put myself in their places -- put myself in their own
situations -- fought with them, cried with them, run with
them...oh, my! It has been a rewarding and passionate Bible
study for me.
Think about Moses, for example.
Have you ever felt his great emotion while leading the people
of Israel in the wilderness?
Do you know what he proposed
to God after the Israelites had sinned against Him? The
people had fashioned an idol to a false god, breaking the
covenant God had set before them. Moses grieved for these
people. He loved them, yet they broke his heart!
I cried with him, as I pondered
that day. I put myself in his dusty sandals. I walked with
him down the mountain, considering the awe-inspiring time
he had just had with the Father! I gazed into his face,
feeling deep sorrow for him, knowing that he was stunned
and mortified to see the beloved people of God running wild
and shouting devotion to a golden image. Poor Moses -- standing
there with the precious tablets of God cradled in his arms.
"What now?!" he must
have thought. He knew that judgment would fall upon the
next day Moses said to the people, "You have committed
a great sin.
But now I will go up to the Lord; perhaps I can make atonement
for your sin."
So Moses went back to the Lord and said, "Oh, what
a great sin these people have committed!
They have made themselves gods of gold.
But now, please forgive their sin -- but if not, then blot
ME out of the book you have written."
Can you believe it?! Moses
was willing to sacrifice his own eternal destiny for that
of his people -- for God's people! He was willing to take
their place. His emotions ran high that day. Greater
love has no man than this, that he lay down his life for
his friends. (John 15:13) I can truly identify
with that emotion. I can live Moses' pain! I can cry it
out and appeal to a just God, as I consider my sins and
the sins of my own children. By God's design, I understand
that kind of love. I, too, would sacrifice myself to see
them embrace an eternity with the Father.
(Read the rest of chapter 32
to discover God's perfect response to His servant Moses
and to His own people.)
Since we are on the subject
of feeling pain over our children's eternal destiny, have
you ever considered David's emotions regarding his son Absalom?
David asked the Cushite, "Is the young man Absalom
The Cushite replied, "May the enemies of my lord the
king and all who rise up to harm you
be like that young man."
The king was shaken. He went up to the room over the gateway
and wept. As he went, he said,
"O my son Absalom! My son, my son Absalom! If only
I had died instead of you -- O Absalom, my son, my son!"
II Samuel 18:32-33
Have you ever loved someone
so entirely much that you would give your life in his/her
place? David's grief over a son who truly despised him brings
tears to my eyes every time I read the words. I've knelt
beside David as he grieved. Why? Because I know. I've lived
it. I understand it.
Sorrow isn't the only emotion
God demonstrates in His Word. What about the joy of Hannah,
and of Mary, at receiving great blessings from God?
prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what
I asked of Him!
So now I give him to the Lord. For his whole life he will
be given over to the Lord.
Then Hannah prayed and said:
"My heart rejoices in the Lord; in the Lord my horn
is lifted high!"
I Samuel 1-2
"My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices
in God my Savior…"
Have you ever lived this kind
of joy -- this kind of praise toward the Father? Has your
heart ever been so full inside of you that you couldn't
contain the joy? Do you remember His great blessings? Sometimes
it's easy to forget -- to grow cold to God's warming presence
and continued sustenance.
But living it through God's
Word brings renewal, refreshment, rejoicing!
Do it! Ponder the emotions
of the people of the Bible. Dance with Mary! Cry with Jacob!
Intercede with Stephen! True, this is a study that may take
you awhile. But it is a journey worth taking. When you lose
yourself in His Words, you will find yourself again, in
His healing, His love, His plan. God wrote these words of
emotion so that you can read them, understand them, live
There is another way to live
God's Word. Wouldn't you agree? It is through His instruction.
Take on Paul's words…clothe
yourself with them, as you determine to…
without ceasing…(I Thess. 5:17)
one another's burdens…(Galatians 6:2)
the offender…(II Corinthians 2)
on love…(Colossians 3:14)
everything give thanks…(I Thess. 5:18)
the peace of God rule in your heart…(Colossians
And what about James' words…
it all joy…(James 1:2)
near to God…(James 4:8)
yourselves in the sight of the Lord…(James 4:10)
the pure milk of the Word…(I Peter 2:2)
serious and watchful in your prayers…(I Peter
in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus
Christ…(II Peter 3:18)
And what about our Lord and
Savior, Jesus Christ?
your light so shine before men, that they may see your good
works and glorify your Father in heaven…(Matthew
who worship Him must worship in Spirit and truth…(John
one another, as I have loved you…(John 15:12)
your enemies, do good to those who hate you…
whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against
anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also
forgive you…(Mark 11:25)
Elijah has a strange habit
-- taking to heart what he is watching, and living it.
What about you? Has the Word
found its way into your heart?
Word of God speak
Would you pour down like rain
Washing my eyes to see
To be still and know
That You're in this place
Please let me stay and rest…
In Your holiness…
Word of God speak!
But be doers of the Word, and not
© 2010. Faith Matters by Lygia Lovelace. All rights