In the movie Groundhog Day,. Bill Murray plays meteorologist Phil Connors. He travels to Punxsutawney, PA with his producer and cameraman to cover the annual festivities where Punxsutawney Phil the groundhog is the star.
A blizzard develops
and forces them to stay in Punxsutawney. Connors awakens the next
morning to find it is February 2 again, and his day unfolds in exactly
the same way. However, he is the only one aware of the repetition.
Everyone else seems to be living February 2 exactly the same way and for
the first time. This pattern continues for many days, maybe even weeks.
love the fact that many great Bible teachers seem to find analogies in
every day things. Rarely does this happen to me. But this
movie seems analogous to trials in the
Christian life. It may not be the best analogy but it works for me.
Phil Connors realized that the same things were happening everyday, he
began to memorize events, so he could manipulate people and take
advantage of his situation. Later when he begins to get tired of being
stuck in Groundhog Day, he tries to fight against it but the repetition
continues nonetheless. Finally when he examines his life and priorities
and makes the necessary changes, Groundhog Day stops and he wakes up on
February 3rd a better man. Lesson learned.
The analogy may be
loose but it just reminded me of the trials we go through as Christians.
Whether it’s a “blizzard” in your life or just a minor testing of your
faith, trials are inevitable. God is doing a work in the life of the
believer and He allows things to happen along the way to develop our
character. “And I am certain that God,
who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is
finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” Philippians 1:6
allows trials in our lives because there is obviously something He
wants us to learn from that particular situation. When we don’t pass the
test it seems that God continues to bring that particular trial back
into our life until we do pass the test...kinda like in the Groundhog
Like Phil Connors sometimes we try to manipulate or
take advantage of the situation we’re going through, other times we try
to fight against it. But when we finally stop and examine our lives and
priorities, then we pass the test and move forward. We learn and grow
spiritually from the situation.
Many of us complain when we are
tested. We pray for patience, and God allows us to be tested so we can
develop our patience, and then we complain more. Our character is both
developed and revealed by the testing of our faith. “When
troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For
you know that when your faith is tested, your patience has a chance to
grow.” James 1:2-3
It's not a matter of if the storm is
going to come, it's just a question of when. People have this idea that
when you turn your life over to Jesus you won't have any more
difficulties. Christians are not immune to difficulties and hardships but we are responsible for our reactions to the trials we encounter. The
Apostle Paul probably suffered more hardship than any other Christian
and yet he learned to welcome the trials. He said “We
can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know
that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of
character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.”