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.
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.