If you’ve seen the movie, How to Train Your Dragon, try to remember how you reacted when you first saw the menacing, fire-breathing dragon. You identified him as the enemy, right? A terrifying and seemingly unstoppable enemy up against a small, weak and not-so-courageous lad named Hiccup who didn’t seem to stand a chance.
Most of us feel like just that boy when we first get a diagnosis for our child.
The diagnosis immediately becomes the enemy in our minds, something we need to beat and overcome. I’ve heard lots of parents say, “We’re going to beat this,” “he’s bigger than this,” or “I’m not letting this ruin my child’s life.” We say things like this because we crave control when we are handed daunting circumstances and feel powerless to fight. We try to rally against the looming threat that mocks our control and taunts our hopes for happiness. Have you been there?
So what happens in the movie? Instead of becoming a saga about defeating a dragon, the supposed enemy becomes the very one who frees the boy from his real enemies (cowardice, failure, lack of courage)! The very thing that seemed to be the enemy in the beginning became the boy’s saving grace.
This is a small picture of the gospel. If you believe in the Lord Jesus, God’s will for you is that you be made like His Son and to have eternal life. This means there is no circumstance that God will not use for your good. There is nothing that can stop the eternal faithfulness, never-stopping love, and pervasive power of God to bring this about in your life.
He takes the things we fear: the bad news, the hard days, the evil that threatens us and He asks us (commands us!) to trust Him with it. He transforms the things that threaten to blow us over into the very tool to strengthen us and bring us into sweeter union with His Son.
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son” (Romans 8:28-29).
Do you believe it? This is not a trite text used to dismiss or gloss over your pain, this is real living hope! A promise you can set your life on. He takes the dragon; the enemy you feel will rob you of hope and joy and turns it into goodness. It’s hard to believe that isn’t it? We want to walk by sight rather than faith, we want proof of it now, here, and glory seems far to intangible to trust.
This is what walking by faith is, giving up our perceptions and trusting God’s promises. We have a far greater enemy than Hiccup faced. The enemy is not special needs or a threat to your circumstances, the real enemy is unbelief and Satan who “prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).