“This was the very reason why you were brought to Narnia, that by knowing me here for a little, you may know me better there.”
— C.S. Lewis, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
Often that is God’s plan for us, to draw us beyond our ordinary world into a place of wonder and majesty, yet riddled with battles and difficulty, to know Him better than we did before.
To grow us, change us, break through to us. To show who we are and where we are going. Our identity and our future. So we will know Him more deeply, love more passionately, and carry the treasures of that world into our own.
My family stands at a Narnian juncture of sorts, preparing to return to our hometown in Indiana after a five year journey doing life together in beautiful Colorado. One of my relatives in the Hoosier state recently said to me (as I shared our tough decision), “I bet [living in Colorado] has been like a long vacation.”
Think Narnia. Wonderful. Mysterious. Majestic, yes. But dangerous, sometimes isolated, and often stretching its travelers through difficulties unimagined on the safer side of the wardrobe. But as you might expect if you were to ask Peter, Susan, Edmund, Lucy, and Eustace, they and I have no regrets and would gladly face the challenges of Narnia again.
God has been in the business of transforming people into men and women of purpose since man and woman first walked the earth. And that doesn’t mean you have to move to another city or uncover a magic wardrobe to experience His life-changing adventures–although you may.
It might just be switching jobs. Sometimes it’s finding a new church, or simply admitting your need for God in the first place. It may be breaking off a bad relationship, or finding the courage to build a new one.
Whatever the decision staring you in the face, God allows change–and difficulty–to refine us. We are like silver and gold in His eyes, but these precious metals must be boiled in the crucible, separated from dross, to be made pure and adorned.
We can choose to ignore God’s call, to hide from the furnace, and to reject the joy He desires to lavish on us through refinement, but we risk losing the precious gift of becoming the person God intended. We become riches left deep in the gut of the earth, never recovered, never tempered, never shining in the light of day let alone the brilliance of His glory.
When we fail to step through the wardrobe, we retreat from the battles we were meant to face, the lives we were meant to rescue, the hearts we were meant to help recover–including our own.
The good news is even in our rejection, Narnia doesn’t die. The good guys still win in the end. But if you and I choose our own paths, force our own destiny, God will find another who will accept the risk and face the challenge.
He seeks one who will step forward in faith, to stand side-by-side on the battlefield, one who desires to leave a wake of magnitude and purpose–a legacy of greatness.
Your door to Narnia awaits.