The opening of the movie takes place in a classroom where a teacher is talking to his students when he notices paratroopers landing in the schoolyard. The young people race to the window to view the scene while their teacher walks outside to find out what is happening. The paratroopers begin shooting everyone in the playground. Thus begins the movie Red Dawn (at least the 1984 version).
What is going on is the Soviet led invasion of the United States in the beginning of WWIII. Thus begins two hours of heart racing action as teenagers are forced to become heroes that help save the nation. We watch their skills, their increasing bravery, and over time learn what has happened to their parents.
I've thought of that movie many times the past few months. First, I realize it couldn't be made in an age when the Cold War is far in the past and it is no longer politically correct to make a movie that shows what would happen in a foreign occupation of America. Second, these young people are tougher than most kids being raised today.
The third truth I kept thinking of is the suddenlies of it all. As I watched the government take more control of our freedoms almost overnight, even if most of it was necessary to slow down the progress of the virus... it was unsettling. As I viewed some cities burn as their elected leaders applauded the anarchists and not the police, I sensed what could come.
In reality, those who are aware of the increasing fault lines in our Republic have seen trouble on the horizon for over fifty years. However, I think what has happened in 2020 is not unlike what the parents in Red Dawn went through, albeit not as life changing as having Russians drop in your backyard! We find out through various conversations in the movie that they sensed trouble ahead.
I can hear what you are saying to your screen as I type. Okay, now that you have brought about a substantial increase in our anxiety level, where is the faith you are talking about in the title? Well, give me a minute or two or three...
As a result of childhood trauma, I used to be a person who had constant anxiety. I ended up in the hospital as a teenager because of its' affect on my health. I became a Christian around age fifteen or so and while the change was not overnight... I eventually overcame anxiety. Other than the normal kind we experience in challenging times or when we hear a siren and our teenager isn't home, yet. That is normal human nature.
I came to learn that my challenges in childhood and adolescence fit under the category of "what the enemy of our souls intended for evil, God used for good". For I developed the ability to look at my circumstances as well as possible outcomes truthfully. Just as the parents in Red Dawn, although not expecting paratroopers to fall in their backyard literally, had a sense that something was amiss.
God never, in all sixty-six books of the Bible, encouraged His followers to bury their heads in the sands of their Middle Eastern homes. Instead, they were often warned of what was ahead and He advised them on how to follow Him in the midst of troubles. If they followed His advice... unless they were meant to be martyrs, they often not only survived but flourished. If they did not follow His advice... well, it wasn't pretty.
That is also why one-fourth of the Bible is prophecy. I have come to realize that Bible prophecy has at least two purposes. When we look back and it comes true exactly as predicted... such as in the birth of Christ... we can know that the Word of God is trustworthy. When it causes us to look forward, we know that everything works out for our good and His glory... even if we do not know the specifics.
We know from the Book of Acts that God places us exactly on the timeline of His-story when He wants us to walk this sod. He also places His people where He wants us at any given time. If you are breathing, and I assume everyone who reads this is breathing, then you are living in this age because this is where you were suppose to be on His timeline. He knows He can trust you with His purpose.
What is our purpose? I believe it is to make our own faith strong through reading His Word, talking to Him a lot (aka: prayer), and learning from teachers we can trust. Then... as with the parents in Red Dawn... we give strength to those younger than us by being strong in our faith and we give wisdom by sharing what we know. What that knowledge is depends entirely on the calling He has given to each person.
Those of us who have experienced great trials can share with those who are experiencing anxiety from the sudden changes that God has always been faithful and He has always provided and that He has always been trustworthy. Forever and ever, Amen!
Parents and grandparents of young children can hold them close and provide immediate comfort. We teach His Word through songs and stories and good media like Superbook. I remember walking with my daughter when she was just two or three and picking up pretty rocks, talking about how God created such Beauty and how much He loves us. Little by little... precept upon precept.
Parents and grandparents of older kids and teenagers have an invaluable opportunity to remind them of the faithfulness of God and how He created each of them to be His unique Esthers and Daniels for the times in which we live. They need good biographies of the people who were brave and followed God even in times of great danger... and there have been many.
However, we can only give peace if we feel peace. We can only share trust and faith if we have it ourselves. That doesn't come from watching 24/7 news or listening to political talking heads. Although a quick dipping of the toe into the waters of current events is not harmful so we keep updated as to what is going on. We don't want to swim in the sewage.
I've been asked where I stand on the whole end times thing. I learned long ago that I have absolutely no idea when Jesus is returning. I was kinda' hoping it would have happened before the world fell apart to this extent. He decided instead to keep us here to be Salt and Light in these uncertain times.
I do believe from reading the Word about what the world would look like just before the return of Christ that there is a good argument we are in what the Bible calls the Birth Pains (aka: Birth Pangs) leading up to His coming. How long they last, I don't know. The Bible doesn't give a timeline for that and I have found that if God doesn't tell us a timeline, speculation only gets one in trouble.
Each of our callings is different but one thing they all have in common is this... people who are listening to Him (and the Word does say that His sheep hear His voice... usually that still small voice or a feeling we have learned is His direction from past experience) are all sensing that this is the time to draw closer to Him for peace and for wisdom.
With His help, you have got this! You are here for a purpose. Anxiety may land for awhile but we do not have to let it take root. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you and give you peace.
Mentioned in this Blog Post
Red Dawn, DVD version... here. (This was the first movie to receive a PG-13 rating but it was for the violence that takes place in war situations. I have only seen it on TV so I don't know if there is anything inappropriate in it but that was rare in 1984).
Red Dawn, Amazon Video... here.
Disclaimer: Most links to Amazon.com are Associate links.
Image: From the film Red Dawn.