Are you anxious and fearful? Is your main goal in life to stay in your “safe” zone, and never venture out into the great unknown where anything (good or bad) could happen? Not only is this a miserable way to live, it is not a convincing way to share your belief in Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord.
In the movie, Finding Nemo, we are introduced to Nemo’s father, Marlin, and their soon-to-be friend Dory.
Marlin, did his best to be a good and loving father. He was a single dad, having lost his wife to a tragic accident early in Nemo’s life. Nemo has a disability, a malformed fin. (Nemo, Marlin and Dory are fish.) Marlin feels solely responsible for keep Nemo safe and ends up pushing him away with his over-protective, fearful attitude. Nemo, in a moment of rebellion, disobeys his father and ends up being captured and taken far away from his home in the ocean.
Nemo’s mistakes didn’t matter to Marlin. Nemo was his son and he set off to rescue Nemo and bring him home. (Isn’t this reminiscent of God’s love for us? Our sins, or “mistakes”, don’t stop God from loving us. After all, He sent His only Son, Jesus, to die on the cross —the shedding of His blood a sacrifice to cover our sins.)
In addition, Marlin’s love for Nemo was so strong that Marlin was able to overcome major obstacles in his search and rescue mission. His biggest obstacle was fear—fear of the unknown, fear of others, fear of venturing out of his comfort zone.
Shouldn’t our love for what God has done for us be so great that we are willing to do anything we can to serve Him, leaving our own “safe” zone behind? When God places something on our hearts that He wants us to do, shouldn’t we trust that He will equip us to do it?
16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. 17 God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NLT)
If we look at Marlin’s dilemma from a Christian view, we see that God placed someone in Marlin’s path to help him in his search for his son. (Doesn’t God do that for us? He places people in our lives to encourage, support and assist us in reaching our God-given goals.)
Marlin’s new companion was Dory. Dory was handicapped; she had short-term memory issues. But she made up for it by being fearless and trusting, and loving others unconditionally. Marlin didn’t always appreciate Dory’s upbeat, “just keep swimming” attitude. Many times, Marlin tried to hold Dory back—what she perceived as opportunities for new friendships and adventures, Marlin was afraid of. However, Dory’s trusting, adventuresome spirit got them out of many sticky situations. Dory was open and unafraid in sharing the purpose of their mission and, as a result, the friends they made along the way were beneficial in helping them succeed in rescuing Nemo. In the end, it was Dory’s unfailing faith that helps them complete their mission and bring Nemo home.
We can learn a lot from Marlin and Dory. Marlin’s fear and inability to trust others, made him an overprotective dad and held him back from accomplishing great things. As Christians, our fear can keep us from serving God’s kingdom by keep us from venturing out of our comfort zone. In His word, God assures us he is always with us and that he will equip us for whatever he calls us to do. Doesn’t that mean that in giving into our fear, we are showing our lack of trust in God?
Dory, on the other hand, mirrored the lack of fear and trusting nature that we should bestow on our loving God. Are we open and unafraid to share what the Lord has done for us with everyone we meet? Dory’s disability didn’t hold her back, much as our imperfections do not keep us from being useful to God.
Are you a Marlin or a Dory? Do you trust God to take care of all your needs or do you let fear keep you from serving Him with all your heart and life? What has God given you to do and have you, will you, or are you doing it? If God is leading you to do something, are you trusting Him to equip you to do it?
New Living Translation (NLT)
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.