It can happen so easily to any one of us. It lays in wait and catches up with us. We let the feelings and hurts, and misperceptions stay stuffed inside. Then we fall prey to the enemy’s devices. He wants to disconnect us from one another, ourselves, and God and the enemy is cunning and waits for just the right moment.
C.S. Lewis gives us a perfect example in his powerful story set in Narnia, The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe.
Life was hard in London during WW II and there was special concern for the children. So, hundreds of them were sent into the English countryside away from the relentless bombing for protection. Can you imagine being put on a train to travel to an unknown place to live with strangers without any idea of what would happen and if you would ever see your family at home again? It was fertile ground for so many taunts of the enemy.
Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy had already been dealing with the absence of their father and by now the oldest siblings had taken on a somewhat parental role. Little wonder that Edmund might chafe when Peter and Susan started giving him direction. Not unusual for that to happen among siblings under the best of circumstances.
Lucy seemed to be unruffled by that, but Edmund was trying to find his place and absent one, he was prone to behavior that showed his anger. The feelings he didn’t actually express festered in the darkness inside of him and as they did, the enemy saw his longing. Edmund had no idea who Aslan had called him to be or what lay ahead if he did not yield to the darkness growing in his heart.
When Edmund stumbles into the winter of Narnia and discovers Lucy has not lied about this country beyond the wardrobe of the professor’s house, he is easy prey to the white witch. It might seem he is just fond of Turkish delight, but he is really looking for something more than that to satisfy the hunger inside of him to feel important, valued, and capable. If somehow that nagging emptiness had not been there, there would not have been room for the anger, bitterness, jealousy, and rebellion to grow. Perhaps then he would not have been foolish as to accept the false promises of the white witch masquerading as the Queen of Narnia offering him candy and rulership of her kingdom one day, if only he would comply with her request to bring his brother and sisters to Narnia to meet her.
The trap was perfectly suited to Edmund, and it would lead him to betray those he loved.
This wondrous tale written as only C.S. Lewis could write can quickly cause us to not feel much affection for Edmund. Perhaps we need to look closer to what moved him to take those steps and consider whether we also could be duped. Evil seduces us by appearing to be good and offer us something yummy and appealing without telling us the cost.
The seduction was easier because the children didn’t know the prophecy, had never heard of Aslan, or what the call on their lives was to be.
It’s vital for us to know the Bible and the truth that fills the pages from Genesis to Revelation and it is even more important than we may realize to teach these things to our children from the time we hold them in our arms and rock them to sleep. For it is God’s story and the most important story they will ever hear or learn. It can show them the right path, help them make the best choice, and save them from the evil conspiring to seduce them. If this story isn’t woven into the fabric of each of our stories, each of their stories, we and they can be duped not unlike Edmund.
Holding onto the hurts, misunderstandings, comparisons, judgments, unmet longings, and more can tempt us to look in all the wrong places for something to make us feel better. If we don’t know the story, God’s story, we will never know that He is the only One who can satisfy those longings, meet us in our hurts and emptiness, and do for us what only He can accomplish.
The enemy’s lies that we will never be accepted by Him if we tell Him the truth of what hides within us are meant to isolate us and deceive us from recognizing He already knows and is just waiting for us to come to Him so He can clean it all out and make us whole. Only if we have a steady diet of the words He left for us can we overcome the hunger that can be stirred in the confusing daily lives we live. He wants us to not initiate with evil and the imprisonment it brings, not to be deceived by the angel appearing as light.
What are you really hungry for?
Only One can fill the emptiness you feel.