Monthly Archives: February 2020

“Chimpanzees and a Promise from our God”

“Chimpanzees and a Promise from our God”

For one of our recent date nights, Shawn and I had dinner then watched a documentary on Disney Plus called “Chimpanzee.” We really know how to live it up.

Image result for disneynature chimpanzees

The movie starts out with Oscar as a newborn chimpanzee born in the African rainforest, and we watch him grow from an infant to a toddler chimp, climbing on the back of his mom, Isha, and struggling to learn how to use rocks and sticks to get food.

We get to watch this group of 35 or so chimpanzees work together and live in community. It was easy to become attached quickly. Before long we see another group of chimpanzees come along, which I called “the bad ones,” though Shawn reminded me they are animals and this is nature so they aren’t exactly “bad ones.”

 However, at some point in the film, Isha, becomes separated from Oscar during a confrontation by the aggressive group. I felt some intense anxiety, but still thought I was safe. I said to Shawn, “This is Disney. They won’t show us a movie that kills off the parent.” To which Shawn replied, “Really? Lion King . . . Snow White . . . Bambi?” He had a valid point. Disney is all about that.

And this is a documentary, after all. It is a real-life story. Life always has times that are seemingly stinky.

It’s easy to forget that. It seems like there would be a pretty good formula –
Good Choices + Jesus = Easy Life.

But that formula is a big fat lie.

In Scripture, lots of God’s peoples went through struggles; some a seemingly unfair amount. Paul, who devoted his life to Jesus after believing in Him, talked about being beaten over and over, lots of prison time, hunger, thirst, cold, and a scary time of being shipwrecked. He didn’t have it easy at all (2 Corinthians 11:23-29).

And it’s especially difficult for us when the hard times come rolling in one after another. I know I’m not alone in experiencing this. We get to a point where we wonder if we are strong enough to handle one more thing. And honestly, alone we probably aren’t. But we aren’t alone. That’s the promise that Scripture gives us.

“So we can confidently say, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?’”
Hebrews 13:6, ESV

The Lord is our helper. We aren’t alone. We aren’t relying on our own strength. When those difficult times come, and they will, we do not give up because God is our helper.  

I won’t lie – life can be hard. But it isn’t something we have to fear because we are not alone in any of it. Our God is faithful. And in an amazing twist, He can also make something beautiful from our hard times. 

The Disney documentary ends on a brighter note than the dark spot it took us to, and our lives will too. If we know Christ, the end is going to be amazing. But we can find joy in this current part too, because our God is with us.

3 Left Turns


“But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.” 2 Chronicles 15:7

A few days before Christmas, we drove a long with our children’s pastorm his wife and another volunteer to take about 20 kids to see the holiday lights at the St. Albans City Park. It’s amazing how long a 45-minute trip can seem when the vehicle is bursting at the seems with elementary students. The lights were beautiful though, and hopefully there were some good memories for all of us. After our drive through the park, we were taking them to get dinner. Not all that familiar with St. Albans, I Googled for directions to the closest McDonalds.

The traffic leaving the park was pretty congested, and kids kept asking, “How much longer?” What started out as 8 minutes, turned into 15, and the hungry kids asked every 45 seconds, “How many more minutes?”

My navigation app wasn’t doing its best, and as I directed Shawn to go straight across the bridge, suddenly the app showed me that we should have turned before the bridge. Now the directions said to keep going across the bridge and make a left, then another left, and then another left.

It’s been said that two wrongs don’t make a right, but three lefts do.

I can tell you those three lefts suddenly took us from 2 alleged minutes to 8 alleged minutes left, and our kiddos, not to mention us, were less than thrilled.

It’s a new year, and a new decade for that matter. It is a time when we tend to take a look at our lives and become inspired to fix some things we aren’t happy with. Maybe it’s our eating habits, or our organizational efforts, our exercise routines, or our prayer time. Those sorts of things tend to get some extra attention this time of year. We make the decision to do better, and then we usually do – for a time. But the weeks pass, and on a rushed day the frozen pizza is easier to grab for lunch than chopping a fresh salad, and oversleeping causes us to skip out on the quiet time with God, and we have a decision to make.

Do we give up because we messed up, or do we make those three left turns to get us back in the right habits we know are best for us?

It’s easy to get down on ourselves and determine that we can’t follow through with the plan we had. We might mess up, but one day or one week or one whatever doesn’t mean that we have failed. We are a little off course and need to make some adjustments to get back on track.  

So don’t get discouraged. If there are things you are wanting to change to make life better, make the decision every day. And if you mess up, make the right decision again tomorrow. Every day is a new opportunity to get it right.

Nick Fewings