“He’ll be coming and going” he had said. “One day you’ll see him and another you won’t. He doesn’t like being tied down–and of course he has other countries to attend to. It’s quite all right. He’ll often drop in. Only you mustn’t press him. He’s wild, you know. Not like a tame lion.” [C.S.Lewis ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.’ ]
We continue the Aslan Jesus series with a guest post from a good friend:
Shasta and Aravis are heading north. From poles-apart socio-economic backgrounds, they’re fleeing loveless lives. Long story short (read it – The horse and his boy – number five in the Chronicles) – they get wind of the Calormene rulers’ plan to invade Archenland and Narnia while Peter who is now High King is distracted by marauding giants. They bolt on their talking horses (no kidding) to warn the good guys. But Rabadash’s army is closing in. Near the border they’re chased by a lion (guess who) who frightens them into outrunning their (real) pursuers.
Also, the lion claws Aravis because she drugged her slave-maid to escape from Calormene and the lion wasn’t cool with that. She’s too badly wounded to go on and she’s forced to stay with a hermit while Shasta goes on to great battles and certain heroism. But Aslan hasn’t forgotten her. He returns. And she’s changed forever.
Disclaimer: The Chronicles of Narnia aren’t God-breathed. They’re just vivid fantastical escape-into-wonder magical tales told by a really smart man who loved Jesus and wanted to reflect even in make-believe the better-believe-it fairy tale of a King born in a stable and rising in glory for eternity and for sure, we can learn from Aslan as he mirrors something of the character of Christ.
- 1. He dares us.
Shasta and Aravis know they’re in danger and they’re going as fast as they can. Except they’re not. They need a bit of a kick in the talking horse. Aslan dares them into pushing harder riding faster going further. Because actually they can. And actually sometimes so can we. Pressures rise and we’re forced to act because he knows what he’s put in us and sometimes to call it out he has to be fierce.
I wonder if Jesus terrified Peter when he said to him, ‘I’ll build my church on you.’ (Matthew 16:18) Peter the rough-around-the-fishing-net guy who was the pebble that became the rock that spread truth to continents.
- 2. He disciplines us.
We’ve forgotten how to be ok with difficult truth. When stuff starts getting a little off-culture we stare at the floor or do the nervous laughter let’s-rephrase-that thing. Like, we’re fine with the wounds of the Saviour as long as we don’t get scratched. But what if the Saviour is so deeply wholly motivated by love that he will do whatever it takes to make you holy? What if he’s the Saviour who says, ‘My child, don’t reject the Lord’s discipline, and don’t be upset when he corrects you. For the Lord corrects those he loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights.’ (Proverbs 3:11-12)
In The problem of pain, C. S. Lewis writes, ‘God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pain: it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.’
- 3. He delays us.
I like how Elisabeth Elliot talked about being sick. She said she wasn’t ‘laid aside by illness but called aside to stillness.’ Somehow when our plans short circuit and there’s disappointment or delay God does deep things that just don’t sink in when we’re caught in the frenetic melee of normal life. When Jesus shows up in the waiting we’re never the same again.
Moses was, like, seriously delayed. Forty years in an Egyptian palace separated from his people. Forty years in the wilderness looking after his father-in-law’s sheep. Forty years wandering to the brink of promise. That’s a lifetime of delay. Yet Moses was the friend of God who stood sans-sandals on holy ground and raised his staff above parted waters and saw the glory ‘til his face shone.
I guess my challenge to you is: if you’re following Jesus, be scared and don’t be scared. Be scared because he’s the living God of terrifying power and blinding splendour. Don’t be scared because you are his wholly beloved, forever redeemed child and heir. And if you’re following Jesus, ‘There are far, far better things ahead than anything we leave behind.’ (C. S. Lewis)
So great to have my friend Dalene sharing a completely different perspective on this Aslan Jesus story than I would have been able to. She has a great gift for writing and I encourage you to connect more with her here:
Twitter: @deereyburn (https://twitter.com/deereyburn)