Lessons from Finding Nemo
Do you feel inadequate when it comes to serving God and His kingdom? Do you worry that you aren’t smart enough, strong enough, tough enough, or brave enough? Do think you’re too shy, too anxious, or too shortsighted to accomplish anything God would ask you to do?
In the movie, “Finding Nemo,” the main three characters were each handicapped in some way. Nemo, the star of the movie, had a malformed fin and an overprotective father. Nemo’s father, Marlin, suffered from PTSD after witnessing his wife’s violent death which led him to be overprotective and fearful. He avoided venturing too far out of what he considered his “safe” zone, which limited his opportunity to experience “life” and create relationships with others. Their new friend, Dory, had to contend with short-term memory loss which made it difficult for her to remain focused on long-term goals.
We, as God’s children, also suffer from our own individual “handicaps.” Many times these obstacles keep us from doing our best as we seek to serve our Heavenly Father. We are willing to work hard—we just want to do it from the safety of our own “comfort” zone. Yet, even though we have God’s word promising us that He will equip us for what He calls us to do, we hesitate to “step out” and often-times even pray for God to allow us to serve Him our way rather than His.
I can do all things [which He has called me to do] through Him who strengthens and empowers me [to fulfill His purpose—I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency; I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him who infuses me with inner strength and confident peace.] Philippians 4:13 (AMP)
Isn’t this an amazing promise? When we feel weak, He will give us strength. When we feel powerless, He will give us the authority to accomplish what He has called us to do. We do not have to fear that we aren’t up to the task because He has assured us that we are, in fact, adequate for His purpose. He reminds us that in serving Him we will find an inner peace that can’t be comprehended by those who don’t know Him. We need to remember that He created us just the way He wanted us; we just have to seek His guidance to know what He intends for us to do.
Your hands have made me and established me; Give me understanding and a teachable heart, that I may learn Your commandments. Psalm 119:73 (AMP)
Just as Marlin, Dory, and Nemo found each other again despite all their imperfections, God can use us to further His kingdom despite all our flaws. In looking closer at these three characters, I find that what I initially perceived as weaknesses, ended up being strengths. Nemo’s rebellious nature, enabled him to lead his new friends to escape their captivity and move forward into a life of adventure and excitement. Marlin found out that his devotion and love for his son was stronger than his fear of the unknown; failure was not an option for him when it came to finding and rescuing Nemo. And Dory (my favorite) with her short-term memory didn’t remember that she was supposed to be afraid of other people and dangerous situations. She didn’t let her imperfections stop her from making new friends and trying new experiences.
Do you let your “handicap” keep you from serving God? Do you feel God calling you to do something that is out of your “safety” zone? Does fear of failure, danger or hurt keep you from taking on an assignment? Do you worry about what others will think or say about you as you do seemingly impossible or questionable tasks?
Remember that our love and devotion to our Holy, Heavenly Father, should outweigh all the doubts, fears, and negativity as we seek to serve Him in the capacity that He has called us to. He created us. He loves us. He chose us. We should cheerfully and willingly respond to whatever He asks us to do. Allow Him to use you as He intended when He created you.