Cinderella has been my favorite Disney movie for years. I especially loved watching it with my toddler girls when they were young. …many moons ago. On days when I was exhausted from the being “mommy”, I remember putting the Cinderella video in, snugging with my girls and the world was well again.
I was uplifted by her heart of service and positive, cheerful attitude in the middle of loss, rejection and downright meanness. Her work ethic among some of the most unthankful, rude, selfish people on the planet—stepmother and her 2 awkward, brash daughters---fueled my desire to serve “my people” with a better attitude. Of course , I found me and my family’s fallen state somewhere in the middle of Cinderella’s 100% perfection and the step-family’s utter lameness, but nonetheless,
If Cinderella could do it, so could I!!
So after watching the new Cinderella movie with my dashing prince this weekend, (yes, he watched the whole movie, even pulled up the “Run Pee” app when he went to the men’s room) , I realized another reason I love this story!
I see the Gospel all over it. And here are some reasons why:
1. We are delighted in and loved completely.
Cinderella is a much- loved baby and child. Here parents adore her and she is nurtured well. She is the product of intimate parenting, which laid the foundation of her being able to withstand the challenges her life brought. Simply put, she was able to love because she was loved well.
“We love because He first loved us.” (I John 4:19)
Yet how many of God’s children do not have the understanding of how crazy God is about us? We have not believed in or experienced His tender touch. No wonder we are ill-equipped to love the unlovely. We were the unlovely, folks. But Jesus loved us anyway and covered us with His blood, making us irresistable to the Father. And as Christ’s love comes, patiently and kindly drawing us to Him, only then can we in turn do the same for others.
2. Do we want what He gives or who He is?
All Cinderella desires from her father as a gift is one which reminds her that she has been on his mind. Her step-sisters demand lavish gifts from the father. Cinderella longs for the memory of the closeness she remembers with her father, the intimate readings at night; tender, encouraging embraces.
What do we desire…things we receive from the hand of our Father or an intimate relationship? To be honest, the older I get the more I realize that a deepening love relationship with Jesus sustains me many times more than His gifts.
3. Thankfulness is the key to victory.
Even with the little she has been given, she lives with a grateful heart! She is thankful for the attic room. It keeps her away from the drama of the step -family where she is able to create her own little world. She shares her food scraps with the mice and makes a tea party out of it!
We have a choice in how to respond to what comes our way. We choose to get better or get bitter. So did Jesus. ”For the joy set before Him, He endured the cross.” (Heb 12:2)
4. Know our true enemy.
Cinderella refuses to believe the untrue lies spoken about her. She recognizes the enemy’s voice (her stepmother) and rises above, runs in search of truth, and believes better things concerning her future.
Our enemy is jealous of the beauty of Christ in us. Satan will try to kill, steal and destroy the work of God in us, but we must be discerning, recognize the battle and fight with truth.
5. Know we are fully accepted.
She confidently walks into the palace, knowing she is worthy. Not based on her own good works, but based on everything her fairy god mother (the blood of Jesus) has bestowed upon her. Also, the memory of the prince’s glance and interaction stirs her.
Do you feel the presence of God drawing you to Himself? The sacrifice of Jesus makes you attractive to Him. Are you able to walk boldly before the throne room of grace?
6. Value the most important words.
Courage and kindness. These two words, spoken to her by her dying mother, ruled her existence, causing her to step into her destiny. As believers, we have a choice to agree with the prayers and words spoken over us, being a “doer of the word, not a hearer only” as James 1:22 admonishes, or to let them pass over and never lodge in our hearts and minds.
Do we value the words of our Pastors, teachers, mentors and ultimately God's words in the Bible? Or are we more concerned about what others are saying? If we value them, we will be walking in their truth and power and bear good fruit.
Cinderella is a picture of Christ, laying his life down for sinful people. Her “I forgive you” declaration to her step mother at the end of the movie, can be seen in the life of Christ as He declares on the cross “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
To be sure, the life of Jesus is my favorite story of all time, but Cinderella falls right beneath it!