Iron Man 3 was a blast. It was humorous, action packed, full of cool new gadgets and upgrades, and had a solid and unexpected twist. It was inappropriate at times with language and sexuality, which is pretty much par for the course with Tony Stark. I was mildly annoyed twice when Tony is saved by gadgets he happened to have on him the whole time. This installment of Iron Man was quite different from the last two in the way it was directed, narrated, and even the plot structure and camera angles. It was a lot of fun, but there is something about it that left me unsure how I'd rate it. For now I'm thinking it was better than the sequel but not as good as part one. Vague Spoilers Follow...
Spiders. Crazed gunman. Car accidents. Public embarrassment. The dark. Each of us is afraid of something. What are your fears? Better yet, how do you deal with them? There is a Bible verse that I've known for years that tells us we were not given a spirit of fear but a spirit of adoption. Michaela did something that made a light bulb come on in my head in regard to that verse.
"The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father." -- Romans 8:15
Lovely picture isn't it? Michaela typically only cries like that for two reasons. As was the case in the picture, she gets like this when she is very tired from sleeping badly the night before or missing a midday nap (often both). We call her Grumpy Brunke. The other situation that causes her to lose her mind like this is when she is scared. She doesn't get scared of a lot of things. Big dogs don't bother her. Loud trucks don't scare her. Strangers are her biggest fear. If she hasn't spent a lot of quality time with you, you can cause a Michaela meltdown just by trying to pick her up.
A few weeks ago at church, Michaela was playing near me. Someone she doesn't know very well walked up to her, bent down, and started talking to her and squeezing her cheeks. Her face immediately distorted into the look of terror as tears tumbled down her cheeks. She cried. LOUDLY. She spun around a few times until her eyes locked on me standing ten feet away. She walked around the stranger and cut a straight path to me, crying all the while. She reached her hand out and grabbed my leg. Her crying stopped almost as soon as she touched me. She sobbed a few more times as she caught her breath. She looked up, her cheeks covered in tears but with a smile on her face as she said two words: "Daddy. Up."
I couldn't help but laugh as I picked her up. She had gone from meltdown to happy in just 0.9 seconds. She was scared of the stranger but she knew that I would take care of her. Once she had made it to Daddy, she knew everything would be alright. I was her safe zone. She handled her fear in the best way she knew how. Run to Daddy.
If you've trusted Christ as your Savior, you were not give a spirit of fear, but a spirit of adoption. Almighty God has adopted you as His son or daughter. You are a child of God. He loves you deeply. You can cry out to God as a child cries out for their daddy. God wants you to realize that He is more than just the man in the sky who is in charge. He is your loving Daddy.
What troubles you? What scares you? What causes you to cry? What leaves you worried? Courage is not the answer. Manning up and saying, "I'm not scared. I can do this," is not the way to conquer fear. The cure for fear is not courage and trusting in yourself. The cure for fear is Daddy. Would you give that a shot next time you are afraid? Would you run to your Heavenly Daddy in prayer? Would you grab onto His leg and ask Him to pick you up? He loves you. He cares for you. He is bigger than those strangers that are scaring you. He wants to take care of you. He will walk alongside of you. Run to him with trust and faith and watch your fears melt away in 0.9 seconds.
Have you seen Captain America? It was good, not amazing, but pretty good. Steve Rogers starts off as this scrawny nobody. No powers, no abilities, nothing that makes him special in any way whatsoever. He gets jumped in the alley and needs his buddy to rescue him. He’s so weak that he tries to join the army and they won’t let him in! Finally, he makes it and he’s a trainwreck. He can’t keep up. He’s no good.
But what he does have are his convictions. He’s got the kind of convictions that lead him to charge straight into the enemy camp all by himself at the end of the movie. And because of those convictions, he is given great power and leads the team to victory. The Cap's story is a lot like the story of Gideon in Judges 6-7. You may want to read these two chapters as I'll only be sharing a few verses.
Where do you turn when times get tough? What do you do when you're scared, frustrated, lonely, or angry? My daughter Michaela starts with a pout and works her way up to a really strong cry. My brother and I have punched walls before when life got rough for us. As a kid I used to hide under my blanket in bed when I got scared. Now, I have a tendency to either bottle things up or complain to my wife. What do you do? Where do you go?
Jesus sets a wonderful example for us in Luke 22:39-45.
Jesus is about to be tortured, beaten, scourged, humiliated, spat on, and crucified. He knows this. And worst yet, the wrath of God is about to be poured out on Him. Could you imagine the weight of knowing that? He knows He is about to be arrested and it is all about to begin. Jesus finds Himself with all of these worries overwhelming Him. And this is what He does.
Good Christian movies are hard to find. I remember growing up in youth group and watching movies like The Cross and The Switchblade.
While the message was good, the movie was pretty bad. We Christians have really fallen behind in the realm of media. Most Christian music when I was growing up sounded like it was a decade or two old. It really is a shame.
Mark has been happily married for five years, has a year and a half old daughter, and serves as a youth and children pastor in Oak Park.