What Finding Nemo, The Lion King, and Your Life Have in Common

What Finding Nemo, The Lion King, and Your Life Have in Common

They are all wonderful illustrations of . . .

redemption told through story.  In each case, someone orphaned or lost is pursued with great fervor until he is brought back to where he should be, and where his primary relationship or purpose is restored.

In Finding Nemo, a young fish’s disobedience causes him to be swept away far from his home. He encounters all kinds of danger while his father searches for him unrelentingly, and they are ultimately reunited.

In The Lion King, young Simba loses his father,  and loses his way until his father speaks to him from on high to remind him of his ultimate purpose in life.

And your life–well, that story you already know.  

The most radical things God teaches us in his Word are taught through story. And that’s probably because we, the presumptuous, over-truthed, grace-proof, obeyers of the law wouldn’t quite GET it any other way.

I get an entirely different idea of what God is like when I read, “Do not lie,”  from Exodus 20, than when I read how God handles lying in Rahab’s story versus the story of Ananias and Sapphira. In those stories it is clear that God cares a whole lot more about the condition of our hearts than what might slip off our tongues. And that same thing happens when I read “God is love” alone, versus reading it alongside the story of Hosea who loved and pursued his wife throughout her adulterous acts of harlotry. Who in the world does something like that?

Without the benefit of story our idea of God gets way in the way of the truth of God, and what we end  up with is a mistaken image of a god who fits nicely within our finite, intellectual, spirit-devoid grasp.

So, what story will you tell? What’s your Finding Nemo or The Lion King? How will you describe a God who is powerful enough to split the Red Sea, cause the sun to stand still, and raise a dead man from his grave, but sensitive and caring enough to pursue us, forgive us, and love us before we’ve ever even acknowledged who he is?

 

Sherry Boykin

Sherry Boykin, the founder of Faith and Tales, is a storyteller and chronic believer in the power of faith narratives to change lives. She uses biblical and personal accounts to help women move beyond their obstacles, glean fresh perspectives on life, and to live differently as a result. Her experiences in urban and suburban ministries, Peruvian Amazon jungle missions, long-term singleness, marriage and family, and men's dorm-living shape her life and provide a colorful backdrop from which to share the Word of God. Sherry is the author of But-Kickers: Growing Your Faith Bigger Than Your But and she has been interviewed for articles in Time, The New York Times, and Better Homes and Gardens.

This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. “Without the benefit of story, our idea of God gets way in the way of the truth of God . . .” What a statement, Sherry! I love the stories in the Old and New Testaments. And the modern -day parables of redemption.

  2. I appreciate your “out of the box” thinking on how the Eternal One views us and loves us. Thanks for this great post! Also, your video on “Mr. Wonderful” is outstanding!

    1. Sherry Boykin

      Thank you, Dr. Ryan. I’m so glad He isn’t one-dimensional! And on Mr. Wonderful . . . such a sad, dreary time in my life that God redeemed for His glory.

    1. Sherry Boykin

      Sure does, Cindy. I would be a lot more afraid of God than in love with Him if it weren’t for story.

  3. Teddi

    Thanks Sis for that insight. Each of us are characters in the story which God writes for us. We definitely can learn from that.

    1. Sherry Boykin

      You’re so right, Teddi . . . And I’m so glad he only reveals a little part of the story at a time.

  4. Marlene

    Excellent points and well written article, Sherry.God has almost always used stories to minister and teach His people. I know He often minsters to my personal needs through stories. That’s why it is such an awesome privilege to write for the Kingdom and hopefully minister to someone else. Blessings to you, my sister!

    1. Sherry Boykin

      And to you, my sister! You certainly minister well in this arena, Marlene; thank you!

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