The Impossible

Over the weekend, our family sat down together to watch a movie.  There are times when it seems like we are running so quickly from one event or activity to the next.  It was so nice just to be still together in our own home for a couple of hours.  Leanne and Isaac picked out the movie from one of our local Redbox kiosks.  It seems like I am more and more out of the loop on the whole movie scene, so it’s no surprise that I had never heard of the movie they picked out – The Impossible.

The movie portrays the true story of a family caught in the ravages of a large tsunami that hit southeast Asia in 2004.  They family who is vacationing along the coast is separated and swept away when the giant wave decimates the resort where they were staying.  (Spoiler alert!)  Most of the movie is spent telling the story of their search for one another and of their eventual reunion.

Most of the movie is pretty graphic as it shows the tsunami along with the injuries that occurred as a result.  When Leanne told me what the movie was about, I was honestly not sure I wanted to see it.  Who wants to watch destruction?

I’m glad I stuck around to the end.  The movie was pretty powerful.  In fact, there were a couple of moments that brought tears to my eyes.  Along with the tears, the movie brought a few thoughts to my head that have been rolling around for a few days.

  • Our God would go to any lengths to connect with us.  In the movie, the father (played by Ewan McGregor) goes on a mission to find his oldest son and his wife.  He is determined to find them even if it meant leaving his two smaller children with strangers for a period of time.  As I thought about this aspect of the movie, I kept thinking about Jesus story of The Lost Sheep – the fact that he would leave the 99 sheep in order to find the one lost sheep.  Indeed, this is what our Father did when He sent His Son for us.  For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  John 3:16
  • We play a role in helping people connect to their Father.  In the movie, Lucas (the oldest son) starts collecting the names of separated family members from complete strangers in the hospital.  He then walks through the entire hospital trying to find people to go with the names.  At one point, he finds a boy who goes with a father he had met earlier.  Their reunion is beautiful amidst the chaos and calamity of the hospital.  As Christ followers, we have a mission to help others connect to their Father.  This is not a mission to be taken lightly.  It’s urgent.  This is why we need to make the most of every opportunity.  Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.  Colossians 4:2-6
  • We’re called to help the least of these – the widows and the orphans.  In the movie, Lucas and his mother (played by Naomi Watts) are trying to get to higher ground when they hear the voice of a child screaming out for help.  They are in a tough situation themselves desperate for help when they make a decision to go help this little boy.  Jesus tells us in Matthew 25:31-46 that whenever we help the least of these, we are actually helping Him.  As I processed this part of the story, I kept going back to this verse in James:  Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.  James 1:27

The circumstances of life can sometimes seem impossible.  We face trials of many kinds, and we can easily get caught up in our tunnel-visioned, self-focused reality.  It’s important to remember that we have a Father who loves us through thick and thin.  And it’s important to live our lives in a way that honors Him.  Believe it or not, The Impossible reminded me of this.

What are you facing today that is IMPOSSIBLE?  How does it help to know that there is a God who relentlessly pursues you?