DayBreaks for 11/18/15: Running Back to the Cellar
From the DayBreaks archive, 2005:
It is interesting how many lessons we can learn from fairy tales. As Stasi and John Eldredge noted in Charming, the story of Cinderella “turns upon an invitation.” It was the invitation to attend the king’s ball that gets the whole story moving forward. Up until the invitation arrives, all we know of Cinderella is that she’s living with a wicked step-mother and is ill-treated by her two step-sisters. She slaves in the kitchen and cellar and it appears that things will always remain that way. She seems destined to a life in the cellar with her enemies always having the best over her.
But then, an invitation arrives, an invitation that changes everything. And when the invitation, something springs to live in the heart of Cinderella. She begins to dream of a beautiful ball gown, of dancing with the prince, and perhaps even of the prince falling in love with her and living happily ever after. She dares to dream that perhaps the prince will fall for her and love her!
It isn’t by accident that the invitation arrives and grace begins to take root in the heart. God’s invitation has been issued to the one and only King’s Ball that will be held in heaven. Just as Cinderella didn’t have to “earn” the invitation, neither do we. It comes unwrapped and ready to be put to use. The invitation, however, must be accepted and opened.
And so, Cinderella goes to the ball (you know the story!) and it is a dream come true. She captures the heart of the prince, but at the approach of midnight, she has to flee in haste to get out of the palace before the carriage turns back into a pumpkin. And where does Cinderella go? She flees back to the cellar. To the place she knows best and where she is comfortable. “It took courage not to abandon all hope even after she danced with the Prince.” The cellar. We all have a tendency to flee back to the cellar, even after we’ve danced with the Prince of Peace. We’re fearful that it’s just some magic spell that will burst when the clock strikes midnight.
But the story does have a happy ending. The Prince isn’t content without her. So, he goes on a great search to find the one that he has lost. And find her, he does. And she never goes back to the cellar forever. And so, it seems, Jesus has done the exact same thing: he left the palace because he wasn’t content to be separated from us.
It’s a beautiful story, but in our case, it’s even more beautiful because it’s no longer just a fairy tale. It is the impossible dream come true. Let’s not long for the cellar again when we can live in the house of Light!
2 Peter 2:22 – But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb: the dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.
Copyright 2005 by Galen C. Dalrymple.
TODAY’S PRAYER: Father, we have lived in our old ways for so long that it’s nearly impossible for us to believe that life will every be any better. It’s hard for us to believe, Lord, that you should truly care for us when we, in our flesh, are so unlike you. We know, deep inside of us, that we don’t belong in a heavenly mansion and that we will never be good enough to be granted entrance. And so we thank you for choosing to wash us in the blood of the Lamb, for dressing us in His righteousness and inviting us to spend eternity with You! In Jesus’ name, Amen.